Social activist and Malaysiakini columnist Hishamuddin Rais has fired back against accusations by PKR president-elect Anwar Ibrahim that he "fabricates" the stories in his writings based on rumours.
"Let me explain here. What I write is fact. I know what I write. It is not made-up. It is not (based on) rumours. It is not (based on) roadside stories. It is not (based on) anybody's whispers.
"Political chapters have become news. (These) political chapters are widely known," he said in a statement today.
Hishamuddin was responding to a Malay Mail report which quoted Anwar as saying that the activist's series of exposés in Malaysiakini are his "own personal writings."
"This Hisham guy is great at fabricating stories.
"He just writes based off of some whispers on the streets... he does not have any direct source,” he reportedly said.
'Behind the scenes'
In his statement, Hishamuddin said the contents of his articles were meant to reveal the facts "behind the scenes" of the new government administration that "give rise to the news."
Among the matters he has written on are outgoing PKR president and Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail's alleged preference of Rafizi Ramli over DAP's Lim Guan Eng for the finance portfolio during early Pakatan Harapan discussions on cabinet posts.
According to Hishamuddin, this caused tension between PKR and the other Harapan component parties, with the former attempting to boycott one of the meetings on cabinet appointments.
The activist said he wrote the allegations in his column as he was present for some of these meetings, and as such, it was his responsibility to be honest and report what he had seen and heard.
"I don't care who the prime minister is, whether its Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Anwar, Azmin Ali, or Lim.
"These people come and go, this minister or that minister will live and die. These ministers could also become traitors.
"In my political view, what is fundamental is not personalities or individuals. For me, what is important is defending the reform agenda," he said, adding that the democratic space will be threatened if the people do not reject those who squabble for power and sabotage this agenda.