On 12 November 2003, he wrote an article criticising Saudi Arabian policies that aided the United States invasion of Iraq, among other things. As a result, the Saudi government reduced Malaysian quota for haj. On 21 November of the same year, he "was fired without warning by the daily’s management at the request of the ruling UMNO party following a complaint by the Saudi ambassador in Malaysia." UMNO, which is part of the ruling government and holding equity in the papers later stated that he had jeopardised Malaysia's close relationship with Saudi Arabia. He had a contract that was supposed to expire in October 2004.