According to acting Umno president and Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the summary sacking of the former editor-in-chief of the New Straits Times "had nothing to do with personal or internal politics".

He reportedly said that the decision taken by the management of the New Straits Times Press (NSTP) was a response to diplomatic protests received by the Malaysian Foreign Ministry from the Saudi government over an article written by Abdullah Ahmad.

In the allegedly controversial article, Freeing The Prophet's Land (Nov 12) Abdullah Ahmad, 66, argued that Saudi Arabia has long been suspected of complicity, conscious or otherwise, in the Sept 11 attacks in the US, and that there was no escaping the fact that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis.

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