Friday, 6 February 2015
Media Statement by Tong Kooi Ong
6 February 2015
I believe Low Taek Jho or Jho Low is the person responsible for the malicious lies and fabrications against The Edge Media Group and I through several blogs using the WordPress blogging platform.
This morning, my lawyers served on Jho Low a demand that he cease and desist fabricating the malicious lies against The Edge, The Malaysian Insider and I in the following blogs: malaysianexpose.wordpress.com and kronismemahathir.wordpress.com.
The same person is also behind the attack on Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Datuk Seri Nazir Razak using the same blogger who goes by the author name ahrily90 (subsequently changed to pen jingga, julijulipeh, saberarturia18 and/or rahmanirwan74).
This is done through the blogs kamibukanbodohtau.wordpress.com, corruptednazirrazak.wordpress.com, kronismemahathir.wordpress.com, politikukus.wordpress.com, and malaysianexpose.wordpress.com.
Besides the above blogs used to attack us, ahrily90 is also responsible for these blogs - bisnes2malaysia.wordpress.com, worldofcorporate.wordpress.com, and todayinbusiness.wordpress.com. These blogs exclusively promote Jho Low, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and their businesses.
Knowing we are on his trail, some of the sites were recently shut down.
However, we have downloaded their entire contents as we were able to save them before they were taken down.
I would like to explain the background and the reasons for these attacks.
1. ahrily90 has posted various articles that attacked Tun Dr Mahathir, Nazir Razak, The Edge and I in his many blogs. We are all known critics of 1MDB.
2. The first attack in kronismemahathir.wordpress.com was on 26 January 2015 under the title "Mahathir uses The Edge and the Malaysian Insider to take down his own people" by ahrily90. This was followed by the article titled "Rogue betting against ringgit" published on 28 January 2015 in both kronismemahathir.wordpress.com and malaysianexpose.wordpress.com by ahrily90. This second article has since been removed from kronismemahathir.wordpress.com but remains in malaysianexpose.wordpress.com with the author's name changed.
On 22 January 2015, just four days before the first attack on The Edge and I, a journalist from The Edge had sent a number of questions to 1MDB on a US$975 million loan provided to it by Deutsche Bank on 1 September 2014. The journalist had asked 1MDB whether the money was used to principally pay Abu Dhabi’s Aabar Investments PJS to terminate an option to take up a substantial stake in the future IPO of 1MDB’s power assets.
The journalist had asked what was the basis for the options to be valued at such a high price, and had requested that 1MDB reveal the terms of the agreement it signed with Aabar in May 2014 on the termination of the options.
(1MDB had given the options to Aabar in return for co-guaranteeing two US dollar bond issues arranged by Goldman Sachs totaling US$3.5 billion in 2012 for the acquisition of power plants)
1MDB responded by saying that it had nothing to add other than what was stated in the Company’s 2014 annual report.
The Edge has published substantially on 1MDB because of concerns, held not only by us, but also by many others in the corporate and banking world and the civil service as well.
The Edge Media Group, which includes The Edge and The Malaysian Insider, believes in economic and social inclusion. We want to promote transparency and good governance. We love our country and as a media, we have a public duty to report on any issues that are of national importance.
I am a Malaysian and no, I do not have dual citizenship as alleged.
In highlighting the challenges the country faces, we are not sabotaging the nation. Instead, we believe it will help direct people towards finding solutions for the betterment of the country.
We highlighted concerns about 1MDB because we are fearful of the fallout for the country should it fail. As it is, 1MDB is already facing financial difficulties. It has failed to pay – missing three deadlines – a RM2 billion loan to a consortium of Malaysian banks.
All the spinning by 1MDB cannot hide this fact.
The only reason The Edge has highlighted the problems at 1MDB is to try to get these issues addressed, so that they can be contained and resolved.
TONG KOOI ONG