Sarawak Report editor-in-chief Clare Rewcastle Brown has accused BN of using a tampered email to accuse her of fabricating information about 1MDB and personalities related to the prime minister.

She also denied that Lester Melanyi, who was said to be a former Sarawak Report editor, had worked with the whistleblower website.

Yesterday, Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan said among the evidence was Rewcastle's email in which she purportedly admitted to this by saying: "Thanks! Yes it was quite a job!.. Sitting up night after night cleverly forging all those documents!!!!"

Abdul Rahman, who is BN strategic communications director, said the email, as well as a video confession of Lester admitting to helpSarawak Report fabricate information, was handed to police.

The minister based this on a police report lodged by Ramesh Rao who leads a pro-BN NGO and had met Lester to obtain the material.

Email 'creatively edited'

Rewcastle said the email referred to by Abdul Rahman was her correspondence with Lester, which she claimed was "creatively edited".

The Sarawak Report editor added she started off her email by joking about the 'forging' but then went on to give a serious explanation which was omitted for BN to accuse her of fabrication.

The single inverted commas on the word "forging" was also edited out.

Rewcastle furnished a copy of the email to Malaysiakini to prove the tampering.



Lester, in the email, had said: "No wonder you have been so quiet, you have been busy digging, congrats, good job, I am so proud of you, hope all is well. Cheers!".

To this, Rewcastle replied: Thanks! Yes it was quite a job!.... Sitting up night after night cleverly 'forging' all those documents!!!!

"Seriously, it has been a real challenge getting this story out there, but once I knew the truth I was determined to drag it out - I think I slept better than those party boys last night."

Rewcastle pointed out that it would not make sense for Lester to congratulate her in an email about her stories if he was assisting her in fabricating the stories to begin with.

She added that Lester had never worked for Sarawak Report and was only hired briefly to work in Radio Free Sarawak (RFS), which includes an Iban language broadcast.

"He worked on RFS for a while, but never went near Sarawak Report.

"Later I discovered he was going round Kuching saying he had written all my exposes - this has caused some laughter amongst those who know better.

"We are going back to 2011, when he did a few months - on RFS only," said Rewcastle.

Motivated by money?

Rewcastle said Lester's attempt to claim a role he never had in Sarawak Report may be related to money.

"I do hope someone from the government has paid him a large amount of money for this load of nonsense, as it might shut him up for a while.
 


"Seriously, the government should stop patronising the public by treating them as if they had the mentality of six-year-olds.

"It is so plainly obvious that it would be impossible for me to have forged all these documents and emails - and there are so many other separate sources of information that just shore up all the evidence I have brought forward.

"No one has been able to find one shred of evidence that disproves all Sarawak Report has reported in any way - or get away from the fact that this money we are talking about went missing," she said.

The whistleblower website had been at the forefront of exposing alleged misappropriation of funds in 1MDB linked to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.