PETALING JAYA - Malaysian tycoon Robert Kuok said on Monday (Feb 26) he would take action against the Malaysia Today news portal and its author over what he said were false allegations claiming he was funding opposition parties and a news portal in a bid to overthrow the government.
Mr Kuok's office issued a media statement citing three articles published on the online blog Malaysia Today, which alleged that he had given money to various political parties and the The Malaysian Insight news portal in order to overthrow the government and install a one led by the predominantly Chinese Democratic Action Party (DAP).
The statement carried by The Star newspaper said the 94-year-old businessman "refutes and emphatically denies the false allegations" made by pro-Umno blogger Raja Petra Raja Kamaruddin in the three articles. The articles were "Malaysian Insight Funder Fingered" published and "Robert Kuok Wants Chinese Rule in Malaysia" - both of which were published last Wednesday - and "Robert Kuok's Last Chance at Changing the Government" published on Friday.
"The false assertions made in these articles include that he was funding The Malaysian Insight and various political parties with the aim of overthrowing the present government of Malaysia; embarking on a campaign to manipulate the Malaysian political process and democratic system; being anti-government vis-à-vis the ruling Barisan Nasional Party in Malaysia; and being a racist and a 'Chinese chauvinist'", the statement said.
"Mr Kuok takes these baseless allegations very seriously and reserves the right to take all necessary steps against Malaysia Today and the author to address the false allegations contained in the scurrilous Malaysia Today articles," his office said.
Mr Kuok, who lives in Hong Kong and is Malaysia's richest man, also said that any assertion that he had forgotten his roots were false, and that he had a "deep appreciation" for the opportunities he has had.
"Mr Kuok would also like to place on record that he has a deep appreciation for the opportunities he has had and recognises the contributions made by Malaysians of all creeds, races and religions towards the development of Malaysia to date and the continued commitment shared by all Malaysians in ensuring a bright future for the country," the statement added.
"Mr Kuok holds in the highest esteem the leaders of Malaysia who have throughout their lives done everything they can to contribute to the well-being of Malaysians," it said.
Mr Kuok's response came after senior Umno leaderTajuddin Abdul Rahman told Mr Kuok not to forget his roots and how he emerged as Malaysia's richest man.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Najib Razak said some of Malaysia's richest people owed their success to opportunities created through policies implemented by the government, led by the 13-party Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.
Mr Kuok has been dubbed as Malaysia's "sugar king" for many years as he had a government concession to trade sugar in the country. He also traded rice and flour, and his empire includes hotel chain Shangri-La, Kerry Properties and commodities trader Wilmar.
He released a memoir late last year, in which he implicitly criticised Malaysia's affirmative action policy to help Malays and other bumiputera races in education and business.
DAP leader Lim Kit Siang on Sunday denied that he had received money for the party from a nephew of Mr Kuok.