Former journalist claims worked with whistleblower website, opposition leaders on 1MDB

The video entitled Pendedahan Kerja Pemalsuan Dokumen #1MDB Oleh Sarawak Report was uploaded on YouTube on Wednesday.
The video entitled Pendedahan Kerja Pemalsuan Dokumen #1MDB Oleh Sarawak Report was uploaded on YouTube on Wednesday. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A former journalist, who claimed to have previously worked for the Sarawak Report, alleged that opposition leaders had conspired with the whistleblower website on the 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) issue.

In a three-minute video, Lester Melanyi, a former editor of Sarawak Tribune, claimed that he had met a high ranking opposition leader whom he named, and his Latino friend in London after the Sarawak elections.

Lester claimed that Sarawak Report founder and editor Clare Rewcastle Brown arranged for the meeting with the opposition leader at a hotel after the Sarawak elections.

He alleged that they met the opposition leader and his Latino friend again for breakfast at a restaurant the next day.

The video entitled Pendedahan Kerja Pemalsuan Dokumen #1MDB Oleh Sarawak Report was uploaded on YouTube on Wednesday.

Lester also said that Sarawak Report first focused on former Sarawak chief minister Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud before changing focus to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

He claimed that he was employed by the Bruno Manser Foundation (BMF) who were his paymasters in 2011 and was paid cash by Rewcastle Brown while he was in London from 2012 to 2013.

Lester claimed that part of his job was to gather information for the Sarawak Report and to write reports for Radio Free Sarawak and they communicated through emails but if urgent Rewcastle Brown would call him.

When he returned to Sarawak, Lester claimed that his salary was wired via Western Union under his brother-in-law's name.

Lester also claimed that Rewcastle Brown informed him about the "1MDB plan" in January this year.

He said that Rewcastle Brown told him that they had an important mission for the opposition leader and that he had do it according to what two other opposition Members of Parliament wanted.

"But what they showed me was some of the fakes I had to get from London like emails and everything because all these are created. I told her I don't want to be part of this scheme," he claimed in Part 1 of the uploaded video.

On Wednesday, Barisan Nasional strategic communications director Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan had stated that he had seen a video confession by a former Sarawak Report editor allegedly involved in forging documents to smear the prime minister and 1MDB.

Rahman said a police report has been lodged and the video has been handed over to the police.

In response to Rahman's statement, Rewcastle Brown dismissed the claims by Rahman saying that Lester had never worked for them and alleged that he had been sacked from the Sarawak Tribune for publishing controversial cartoons of Allah.

Meanwhile, PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli on Thursday denied being involved in a plot to forge 1MDB documents with the aim of discrediting Najib.

He said a police report which was lodged citing the claims made by Melanyi was merely an attempt to dismiss 1MDB's issues.

Rafizi vehemently denied ever having met or known of Melanyi.

He also denied working with Sarawak Report to damage Najib's credibility.

"I have never instructed Sarawak Report on its editorial policy, nor have I ever provided them with material to publish," he said in a statement Thursday.

"All the issues I have raised about 1MDB originate from local and international news reports, as well as answers given to me by the Finance Ministry in Parliament," he said.