PETALING JAYA: Author Yahaya Ismail today denied attempting to blackmail Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for RM400,000.
He said he was merely trying to sell the publishing rights to his book to the PKR president. The book is on why Anwar should not be made prime minister.
Yahaya wrote in a Facebook post last night that Sungai Petani MP Datuk Johari Abdul had agreed to buy the book rights.
“Read my WhatsApp messages to YB Johari,” Yahaya said. “I want to sell the copyright to Anwar and other interested groups.
“There is no question of blackmail here. Please understand, and do not cheat people with your fairy tales.”
The author also said he had contacted Johari on June 4 to see if he was interested to buy the manuscript, and had posted it on June 10.
Yahaya also said he was not hired to write the book. “(The book) is a result of my own studies. I have written about politics over the last 40 years and published 50 political books.
“One of the books I published in 1993 is entitled Anwar Ibrahim Antara Nawaitu and Boria Party. I criticised his leadership, and he has even invited me to his house to talk about politics for two hours.”
Yahaya, who is said to have known Anwar since the 1970s, said he was not a member of any political party and wrote only for the truth.
“Anwar is my friend since the 70s, but I’m not in line with his politics, I’m not part of any political party. As a writer I’m looking for the truth, and fighting for race, religion and country.”
Johari yesterday said he was recently given a manuscript of the yet-to-be-published book by the author himself, who had also requested the former to inform Anwar of its contents.
“The author wants me to tell Anwar that the book was ready and that someone has already agreed to offer him RM400,000 to publish the book,“ he told a press conference after PKR’s political bureau meeting, here yesterday.
“He said if Anwar can offer higher than that amount, he was willing to handover the manuscript. There is a clear element of blackmailing here.”
Johari called for the press conference after lodging a police report at the Petaling Jaya district police headquarters pertaining to the matter.
“The book is full of baseless accusations and slander against Anwar. But when he blackmailed, he has crossed the line. I hope the police will take the necessary action against the author,” he said.
Johari said the book, titled ‘Mengapa Anwar Tak Boleh Jadi PM’ (Why Anwar Should Not Be PM), contained several allegations implicating the Port Dickson MP, including on homosexuality and corruption.
“The manuscript also contains elements questioning the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s decision to grant Anwar a full pardon following his release from prison,” he said.