The police are investigating former Bar Council chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan, who has been named by Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown as the source for an article that said PAS received some RM90 million from Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
According to the Malaysian Insight, inspector-general of police Mohamad Fuzi Harun confirmed that a probe has been initiated following a report lodged on Nov 1 by Umno grassroots movement chairperson Zulkarnain Mahdar.
It was also reported that Ambiga is being investigated under Section 505(b) of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission Act 1998 for causing public alarm.
Section 505(b) is for those who make, publish or circulate any statement, rumour or report with the intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public, or to any section of the public whereby any person may be induced to commit an offence against the state or against public tranquility.
Contacted later, Ambiga said she would issue a media statement on the matter this afternoon.
'What alarm has been raised?'
However, Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah is perplexed as to the section being used to investigate her predecessor.
“I personally do not see what alarm has been raised in Malaysia through Rewcastle-Brown's defence when she named Ambiga as one of her witnesses,” Maria said in a statement.
She pointed out that the issues raised in Rewcastle-Brown's (photo) defence were not new, such as the brutal murders of Altantuya Shaariibuu, deputy public prosecutor Kevin Morais and the 1MDB scandal.
She said these issues have been discussed in Malaysian courts and not just in the backstreets.
“Let the UK court proceed and do not harass, threaten and tamper with the witnesses. Hands off Ambiga and let the truth prevail,” she added.
Maria was referring to the Sarawak Report editor's defence statement filed on Oct 11 in relation to a defamation suit brought against Rewcastle-Brown in the UK by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang.
Apart from naming Ambiga as her source, Rewcastle-Brown also claimed that Morais gave her the alleged draft sheet against Najib on the 1MDB scandal.
According to her, she received the document a day after former attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail vacated his position, on July 27, 2015, with health issues cited as the official reason.
On July 30, Sarawak Report published a report claiming that there was a charge sheet against Najib on the alleged misappropriation of RM42 million from SRC International into his personal accounts.
Gani's successor, Mohamed Apandi Ali, had dismissed the alleged charge sheet as fake.
Responding to the attacks on her after being named as the source by Rewcastle-Brown, Ambiga declared that there was an attempt to persecute her in Malaysia over the suit being heard in the UK.
The prominent lawyer also said that the focus should be on the more serious allegations in Rewcastle-Brown's defence statement, as opposed to the two paragraphs which mentioned her.