PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, through his lawyer, has accused deputy premier Muhyiddin Yassin of a "blatant lie" by linking Saturday's Himpunan Bangkit Rakyat to his pending court cases.
"We refer to the statement by Muhyiddin on Jan 8 which alleged that Himpunan Bangkit Rakyat on Jan 12 is aimed at influencing court decisions that involved Anwar and further bizarrely referred to the rally as 'Himpunan Shamsidar'," said Latheefa Koya from Messrs Daim & Gamany.
In a statement, she said that Shamsidar Taharin, the wife of PKR deputy president Azmin Ali, has never been called or listed as a witness in any pending court cases involving Anwar.
"Furthermore, the only impending case involving Anwar is his suit against Utusan Malaysia over the BBC interview and does not involve Shamsidar at all. The case is fixed for decision on Jan 21," said Latheefa, who is also a PKR leader.
"As for Anwar's suit against S Nallakarupan over his statement in Utusan Malaysia, the matter is now fixed for case management pending appeal by both parties at the Court of Appeal on the issue of striking out certain sections of Nallakarupan's defence.
"It is therefore shocking and unbecoming of the deputy prime minister to so blatantly lie when it is clear there is no basis for him to make such statements or insinuations."
Utusan, a Malay-language daily owned by Umno, has been describing Saturday's rally as 'Himpunan Shamsidar' in its reports since last month.
The term was coined after Nallakarupan (left), a former Anwar ally but now a pro-Umno senator, claimed that the rally was planned by the opposition to ensure that Shamsidar will not testify in Anwar's defamation case against him.
Anwar had sued Nallakarupan on March 26 last year over his interview with Utusan which accused Anwar of bisexual activities.
According to Pakatan Rakyat, the rally - set to be held at Stadium Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur - is to highlight issues affecting the public, including the Lynas rare earths refinery, the oil and gas project in Pengerang, Johor, and unfulfilled electoral reforms.
Yesterday, Muhyiddin had called on the public not to attend the rally, saying it is a protest in the interests of "a certain individual" who he did not name.
"This rally is not (about) fighting for national issues or the interests of any party but for the personal issues of a certain individual - maybe because they are conspiring to protect their leader and are afraid of what will happen in court," Malay daily Sinar Harian quoted him as saying.
"That's why they are dragging supporters and the people to rally. Matters like this should be left to the court. If the court thinks that there is a need to bring the individual to testify to support a certain case, that is the right of the court."