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Wan Ahmad to sue Mat Sabu over claims


SHAH ALAM: Election Commission (EC) deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar has initiated legal action over claims by Pas deputy president Mohamad Sabu that he was involved in the so-called Project IC, an alleged systematic granting of citizenship to immigrants in Sabah.

Wan Ahmad, who called for a press conference at his house here yesterday said the allegation was false, baseless and defamatory.

"I could not have been involved in Project IC as I was not even in the EC at the time."

On Feb 1, Pas mouthpiece Harakah had published an article in which Mohamad, also known as Mat Sabu, had accused Wan Ahmad of providing unqualified immigrants with identity cards in the early 1990s.

"Wan Ahmad was actually involved in the case as he was the Sabah EC director then. I therefore urge him to resign immediately as deputy chairman as he is an untrustworthy person," Mat Sabu was quoted as saying.

Wan Ahmad said Mat Sabu had actually mistaken him for Wan Ahmad Wan Yusof, the former Sabah EC director who served at the time.

"I only joined EC as its secretary in 1998. Before that, I was working at the Malaysian embassy in Washington D.C. from 1989 to 1994."

Wah Ahmad said Mat Sabu had committed a serious faux pas for failing to check his facts before issuing the potentially libellous statement.

He added that his lawyers had issued notices of demand to five parties, namely Mat Sabu, Pas, Harakah printer Angkatan Edaran Enterprise Sdn Bhd, Harakah editor Ahmad Lufti Othman and reporter Aziz Muda.

"Besides issuing a written apology, I want them to retract this slanderous allegation and to formally assure me that they will not repeat such an act in the future.

"The notices were issued on Feb 7 and they were given seven days to respond. However, they have yet to do so," Wan Ahmad said, adding that he would file a defamation suit against the parties involved and seek damages if they continue to ignore his demands.



Election Commission deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar showing the defamatory article on him in Harakah at the press conference yesterday. At left is his counsel, Abu Bakar Isa Ramat. Pic by Roslin Mat Tahir

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