KUALA LUMPUR, 22 Oct 2008: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today accepted the apologies of Internet news portal
Malaysiakini over an article alleging that he had issued a manifesto to back his bid for the number one post in Umno.
The Umno deputy president said the Malaysiakini journalist, Wong Choon Mei, had acted responsibly by tendering her resignation.
“I would like to say that I accept the apologies or the decision of the Malaysiakini editor to apologise for the totally false report which purported that the manifesto was issued by me.
“Secondly, the journalist who resigned had shown a high degree of professionalism because she had taken full responsibility for the story which was totally false,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby here today.
Wong, who had been with the news portal for three months, resigned yesterday to take full responsibility for the erroneous report.
She had used information from an e-mail from a purported “Najib Support Group” in the report published on 19 Oct without verifying with the deputy prime minister’s department.
Najib said the question that arose from the false report was who had concocted the story.
“The real culprit is still hiding…we don’t know who is responsible for the story,” he said.
Asked whether it was an orchestrated move to put him in bad light, he said: “It doesn’t matter. I may have to put up with all this until March (when the Umno elections will be held).
Asked whether he would take legal action on the matter, he said he would leave it to authorities to decide and was satisfied on the basis of the apologies by the editor of Malaysiakini and the journalist concerned who have taken full responsibility.
Stating that nobody liked those types of baseless attacks and allegations, he called upon Malaysians not to be duped by such attempts. — Bernama