Malaysian govt should sue Al Jazeera for defamation: Former PM Mahathir

Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamed said that the country's government should sue Al Jazeera for defamation if the report from the news agency about the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu was not true.
Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamed said that the country's government should sue Al Jazeera for defamation if the report from the news agency about the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu was not true.PHOTO: THE STAR PUBLICATION

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The government has a duty to clean the country's name and sue a news outlet for defamation if it thinks there is no truth in a documentary about the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed.

The former prime minister of 22 years said that Al Jazeera is watched by millions of people and most will believe what they see.

"Merely saying that it is not true may convince some Malaysians but will not convince foreigners," he said in a blog posting on Monday (Sept 14).

A report in Al Jazeera's 101 East current affairs programme last Thursday alleged that Altantuya had ties with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and that the two men convicted of murdering her were linked to Najib.

"It is not pleasant to be told that the Prime Minister of Malaysia may be involved in a murder case. Najib and his Government have a duty to clear our name," he said.

He said that proof must be given that there was no cover up, no police involvement in the murder and that Razak Baginda was not guilty.

Mahathir added that both the judiciary and the AG's Chambers must clear their names with regards to the acquittal of Razak Baginda.

"Already Malaysians abroad are being asked what has happened to our country. This new episode is not going to improve the image of the country after the other scandals.

"The government must take this documentary film seriously and try to clear our name. Taking it off Al Jazeera in Malaysia would not change anything. The documentary has gone viral in Malaysia and is still shown throughout the world," said Mahathir.