A day after I posted Kalimullah admits "it was incorrect" Sufi, Dr Mahathir's aide, sent this letter to the author of the farcical June 11 (2006) article seeking a clarification. It looks like the letter will not see print in the NST so I am reproducing it in full here. - Rocky's Bru, June 16, 2007.
Ybhg Datuk Kalimullah Masheerul Hassan
New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Berhad
31, Jalan Riong
59100 Kuala Lumpur
June 12, 2007
Re: Kalimullah admits "It was incorrect"
I refer to the above item that appeared in the blogsite rockybru.blogspot.com dated June 11, 2007 and I quote;
Kalimullah's June 11 legacy. Extracted, from court documents filed recently by Kalimullah Masheerul Hassan in his on-going suit against lawyer-author Matthias Chang:
"It was incorrect as I subsequently found out. And this issue was subsequently clarified in the New Straits Times."
The NSTP former Group Editor-in-Chief and now Deputy Chairman/Editorial Adviser made this admission in response to an Interrogatory filed by the Defendant asking Kalimullah whether what he wrote in the June 11, 2006 article in the Sunday Times about the meeting between the Prime Minister and Dr Mahathir in Japan was correct.
[Please read the "incorrect" article, Sunday Column: And who, really, is demonising whom?]
2. As I clearly recall, when the New Sunday Times (June 11, 2006) published the Sunday Column: And who, really is demonising whom?, authored by yourself, I had then written a letter to point out and clarify certain factual errors.
3. The paragraphs in the original article that became a point of contention to me were;
"The Prime Minister was in Japan shortly after the Malaysiakini article appeared and was told that Dr Mahathir wanted to come and see him.
Abdullah, in the midst of breakfast with aides and officials, immediately put on his tie and told the ambassador that he would go and see his ex-boss rather than let Dr Mahathir come down and see him.
Yet, less than two weeks later, Dr Mahathir invited the foreign Press to his office and lambasted Abdullah and his administration."
I had then pointed out that;
- Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad did not seek an appointment with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi while both leaders were in Tokyo attending the Nikkei Conference.
- Dr Mahathir did not invite the foreign Press to, in the your words, "lambast Abdullah and his administration". The Press conference on June 7 was called to announce the Perdana Leadership Foundation's Global Peace Forum to be held from June 20-22.
4. The following day the New Straits Times published my letter although it did not apologise to Dr Mahathir. Instead, there was a footnote at the end of the letter which read:
(We have received many letters in support of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Because they express similar sentiments to the correspondence already published, we have decided to bring this subject to a close. — Editor)
5. Subsequently, Prime Minister Yang Amat Berhormat Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, referring to the meeting with Dr Mahathir in Tokyo on May 26, 2006 was quoted by the New Straits Times (July 20, 2006) as follows;
"I did not ask him to come and see me. I went to meet him. As a gesture of friendship, just to exchange greetings," he said.
6. Following the PM's remarks, I again wrote to the NST pointing out that since the PM had given his version, it had then been proven beyond doubt that the unqualified and misleading statements contained and written by you and published in the Sunday Column (June 11, 2006) can only be read as intending to cast aspersion on Dr Mahathir. I had also said that given this development an unreserved apology was due to Dr Mahathir. Unfortunately, the NST found it convenient not to publish the letter, nor was an apology ever privately or publicly offered to Dr Mahathir.
7. Given the latest development as published in rockybru, I seek clarification to the statement "And this issue was subsequently clarified in the New Straits Times."
8. I stand corrected. I do not remember having read anywhere in the NST or in the New Sunday Times of any clarification with regard to this issue. Unless of course my letter and the PM's statement is regarded as "clarification".
9. What I would understand as clarification is that if you, Datuk, as the writer and author of the original article had retracted your statement and offered an apology to Dr Mahathir for the misrepresentation of facts in a subsequent publication of the Sunday Column.
10. That I would understand and accept as clarification as I would be somewhat assured that your readers, not necessarily readers of the NST, would then be "informed" that what they had read in your column on June 11, 2006 was indeed a misrepresentation of the facts, and not true.
11. Unless and until that appears in the Sunday Column I do not consider the issue as "clarified".
Before I end, let me quote you a paragraph from the Sunday Column: Rumour and the Ugly Malaysian, that you had written dated Aug 7, 2005;
"This is a country of rumours. This is a country that has a large share of people ready to believe in anything, and this is a country where there is a larger proportion than norm of people who take delight in spreading vile rumours and slander ."
Office of YABhg Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad