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Najib sues Tony Pua for slander over statement on Act 355

Najib said the defendant’s action to slander him with the same old issue clearly showed malicious intent. — Reuters picNajib said the defendant’s action to slander him with the same old issue clearly showed malicious intent. — Reuters picKUCHING, April 21 ― Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has sued Petaling Jaya Utara member of parliament Tony Pua Kiam Wee for slander in regard to Pua’s live video statement about the tabling of the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 Bill (RUU355).

The Prime Minister filed the lawsuit in his personal capacity through Messrs Hafarizam Wan & Aisha Mubarak, today.

In his statement of claim, Najib said Pua made a statement at the Parliament Building lobby on April 6, which was recorded and uploaded by the defendant and/or his agents in his official Facebook, ‘Tony Pua’.

The plaintiff claimed the two minutes and 21 seconds video clip titled, “BN Govt abandons all Bills to give precedence to PAS RUU355 Private Member’s Bill”, could be widely and freely accessed through internet.

Najib alleged that the defendant’s statement had specifically referred to him and could be taken to mean that he had abused his power by giving an order through the Cabinet to the Dewan Rakyat Speaker to allow the motion by the Marang member of parliament on the Private Member’s Bill and to set aside other Bills. 

He alleged that the statement could also be taken to mean that he had ignored the doctrine of separation of powers between the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary, had conspired with PAS to split Malay votes among the opposition parties,  and a leader who practised dirty politics to hang on to power.

Najib said the statement had seriously defamed and caused him to be brought into public scandal, odium and contempt before friends, associates and the general public in the country and internationally.

He said the defendant without any feeling of remorse or regret continued to slander him with same old issues for which he had filed a defamation suit to the High Court here on May 3, 2015.

Najib who is also Barisan Nasional chairman said the defendant’s action to slander him with the same old issue clearly showed malicious intent. The defendant’s disparaging words, he further alleged, had caused serious damage and strained the relationship between him and people and the international community.

He is suing Pua under Section 5 of the Defamation Act 1957.

On April 11, the plaintiff sent a notice to the defendant demanding of the latter to stop slandering him and to issue an apology in writing within seven days from the date. However, the defendant failed to respond to the letter of demand.

Najib is seeking among others, general and exemplary damages, costs and interest and other relief deemed fit by the court from the date of judgement.

He is seeking an injunction to restrain the defendant or his agents in whatever manner from further defaming him.

He is also seeking an order to compel Pua to issue a written apology which must be published in at least two major newspapers and in the form and wordings chosen by him (plaintiff).

Najib is further seeking an order to compel Pua to remove the video clip from his Facebook immediately.

Meanwhile, the High Court today granted the plaintiff’s ex parte application for an injunction to prevent the defendant from publishing the same or similar words as contained in the latter’s statement.

Najib’s lawyer Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun told reporters that justice Abu Bakar Jais who presided over the application at 4.45pm today also set May 5 for inter partes hearing of the injunction.

Counsel said Najib made the ex parte application based on personal concern of the extent of damage that Pua’s slanderous statement could do with regard to his position as Prime Minister, Finance Minister as well as leader of a political party. ― Bernama 

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