Sarawak Report editor refutes Lester’s claims

Sarawak Report editor refutes Lester’s claims
PHOTO: The Star/ANN

PETALING JAYA - Former newspaper editor Lester Melanyi only worked for Radio Free Sarawak until mid-2011 and never worked for Sarawak Report, said Clare Rewcastle-Brown.

"He did briefly come to London after writing to ask me if he could join the Radio Free Sarawak team.

"He was an editor of Sarawak Tribune before he was sacked for publishing a religious cartoon, so I assumed he had skills.

"However, he was not very active and I had to sadly drop him from the team back in mid-2011," said the founder of Sarawak Report Rewcastle-Brown.

In an e-mail response to The Star, she said Lester had never worked for Sarawak Report, and refuted his allegation that he, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, a Latino friend and herself had met in London after the Sarawak election.

The 10th Sarawak state election took place in 2011.

"Lester certainly never met Anwar in London with me.

"I have only occasionally met Anwar on his official visits to London and he was always accompanied by his wife," said Rewcastle-Brown.

She added that Lester was not paid by the Bruno Manser Fund, refuting allegations that he was employed by them in 2011.

Rewcastle-Brown added that she did not pay Lester in cash for 15 months from 2012 to 2013, refuting another of his claims.

"He was paid living expenses by a separate donor through me, and he shacked up with a friend of mine to save money.

"He was not hired for more than five months and was terminated after the Sarawak state election," said Rewcastle-Brown.

She added that Lester was working for Sng Chee Hwa's Radio Kenyalang during the 2013 general election.

When asked about forged documents and the "1MDB plan" allegations, Rewcastle-Brown dismissed them, saying that Lester "makes it sound like Star Trek".

"I have not watched the video, but according to reports, he has brought everyone and pulled them all together into one fantastic plot without a shred of truth or evidence to back it all up," said Rewcastle-Brown.

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