The redacted statutory declaration (SD) published on various news portals including Malaysiakini was fabricated by a blog named Citizens for Accountable Governance Malaysia (CAGM).
The SD claimed an AmBank banker was sacked for trying to report to Bank Negara about large amount of transactions involving an account purportedly owned by the prime minister.
"CAGM was just an experiment in social media in Malaysia. CAGM grew only because we were supported by editors who refused to check the facts but thrived on reporting sensational news," it said in a blog posting .
It also claimed that CAGM chairperson Md Zainal Abidin did not exist.
CAGM issued its first press statement on May 28, under the name of Md Zainal Abidin and furnished a mobile number.
Malaysiakini had contacted the mobile number on the same day in which the person introduced himself as "Md Zainal" and confirmed sending the statement.
It also sought an interview but the person would not agree.
Since then CAGM had issued a series of press statements, several of which were critical of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
On July 12, it published a press statement alleging that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had chanelled millions of ringgit into the accounts of BN component parties.
Malaysiakini did not publish any article on this because no evidence was offered.
On July 14, "Md Zainal" sent the following message to a Malaysiakini journalist: " Malaysiakini has gone totally silent on us at CAGM. Guess we must have angered you guys."
In response to this, a text message was sent to Md Zainal which read: "We decided not to publish as there was a lack of evidence and implicated many parties. But if you could share the court documents to back the claim, we will be happy to publish the evidence."
On the same night, CAGM emailed the redacted SD and also published it on its blog.
Malaysiakini contacted "Md Zainal" the following day, asking for the contact number of the person mentioned in the SD or his lawyer.
To this, Md Zainal said the person mentioned in the SD is not yet ready to go public.
The CAGM blog, which posted an unredacted version of the SD this evening, said it is fictitious.
Other media which reproduced the SD include The Malaysian Insider, Free Malaysia Today and Oriental Daily website.
Prior to publishing CAGM's SD claim, Malaysiakini had run a check on the commissioner for oaths whose stamp appeared on the SD, which showed the person existed.
According to the commissioner for oath's database, Faridah Abdul Hamid (No. PJS: W420) served as a commissioner for oaths from Jan 1, 2012 to Dec 31, 2014. The SD was dated May 8, 2013.
Malaysiakini had also emailed AmBank for response.
The CAGM blog also posted what is purportedly a conversation between The Wall Street Journal Asia markets editor Tom Wright and Zainal with regard to the SD.
The posted conversation with WSJ appeared to be an attempt to discredit Wright and WSJ in the wake of allegations against Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak published in the financial daily.
Editor’s note: Malaysiakini has retracted the original article.