Lim Kit Siang has denied that he is the cousin of the late Communist Party of Malaya leader Chin Peng and Singapore's former premier Lee Kuan Yew.
He was responding to a tweet from lawyer Syahredzan Johan, who claimed that someone from Umno had shared a chart in a Whatsapp message purportedly showing Lim's blood ties to the pair.
Also mentioned in the chart were Lim's son and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, DAP leaders Teresa Kok, Tony Pua, Anthony Loke, Ngeh Koo Ham and Nag Kor Ming as well as Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) leader Nizar Jamaluddin.
The DAP veteran blamed those aligned to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak for this.
"Apart from Guan Eng, I have no idea how I could be related to all the other named personalities," he told a press conference in Penang this afternoon.
Lim pointed out that Ching Peng, born in Sitiawan, Perak, on Oct 12, 1924, is the nom de guerre of Ong Boon Hua, who is of the Hockchia clan.
Whereas, he said the late Lee was born in Singapore on Sept 16, 1923, and is of the Hakka clan.
"I, a Hokkien, was born in Batu Pahat (Johor) on Feb 20, 1941.
"How we could be cousins is testimony of the fertile imagination of Najib's troupe of creators of fake news and false stories who could turn white into black and black into white," he added.
Training his guns on the alleged mastermind behind these campaigns, Lim likened the person to Joseph Goebbels, who was the Minister of Propaganda of Nazi Germany.
As for now, the DAP leader, however, declined to shed light on this person's identity.
"I would not name him for the moment, a person whose name has not appeared in the media at all.
"But (he is) a very powerful person in Najib's corridor of power, whom even the Umno warlords keep a wide berth of, as he is not a person to be trifled with," he claimed.
Meanwhile, Lim described the prime minister's recent warning regarding false news as a supreme irony, claiming that those aligned to Najib were the "worst culprits".
The veteran leader noted that his son was often targeted in such smear campaigns.
Guan Eng, who is also DAP secretary-general, has lodged two police reports over fake Whatsapp messages.