CEO Morning Brief

Court Orders Anwar to File Reply to Defence in Defamation Suit Against Pendang MP

Publish date: Wed, 17 May 2023, 09:09 AM
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TheEdge CEO Morning Brief

KUALA LUMPUR (May 16): The High Court has ordered Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to file his reply to the defence in an ongoing defamation suit against Pendang Member of Parliament Datuk Awang Solahuddin Hashim.

Deputy registrar Aisyaf Falina Abdullah during case management on Tuesday (May 16) ordered Anwar to file his reply by May 30. She set May 31 for a status update.

Anwar was represented by Datuk Sankara Nair, Jaden Phoon and Wong Guo Jin, while Awang Solahuddin was represented by Nurul Atiqah.

The Pakatan Harapan chairman filed the suit on March 3 over the PAS lawmaker's alleged defamatory statements against him at a press conference at the Parliament lobby when attending the Dewan Rakyat sitting on Feb 21.

Anwar claimed that the comments were published on TikTok and also the Malaysiakini news portal.

He said that Malaysiakini had republished part of the libellous remarks in two of its articles in Malay and English titled MP PAS: Sikap pendendam Anwar lebih teruk daripada Mahathir and Why no LCS (littoral combat ship) charges, MP asks ‘more vindictive than Mahathir’ PM.

The Tambun MP said the remarks implied that he was vindictive and vengeful, and had abused his power in office by interfering and arbitrarily instructing law enforcers and prosecutors in the country to act in a way to achieve his personal political agenda.

In his statement of defence, Awang Solahuddin said, among others, that the criminal charges against former PM and Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as well as Tasek Gelugor MP Datuk Wan Saiful Wan Jan contradicted Anwar’s claim of not practicing politics of vengeance.

The Pendang MP further alleged that the criminal cases were brought after Anwar said last year that funds meant for the Jana Wibawa scheme had been misused.

The defendant also said that Anwar stopped making comments against Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s role in the LCS scandal, after the Umno president became a deputy prime minister in the unity government.

These examples, Awang Solahuddin claimed, showed that Anwar's government would try to "protect or delay" matters when its political allies were involved, but was "quick and stern" when it came to political rivals.

Anwar is seeking general, aggravated and exemplary damages and compensation, as well as an injunction order to refrain the defendant or his agents from republishing the alleged defamatory remarks.

Read also:
Anwar sues Pendang MP over libellous statement

Source: TheEdge - 17 May 2023

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