Tuesday, May 24

Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua applies to strike out defamation suit against him by Najib on 1MDB


KUALA LUMPUR: Petaling Jaya Utara Member of Parliament Tony Pua Kiam Wee has applied to strike out a defamation suit against him by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak pertaining to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Pua’s lawyer, Alliff Benjamin Suhaimi, disclosed this to reporters when met outside the court here.

The case came up for mention yesterday in chambers before High Court deputy registrar K. Pavani, who set June 17 for case management.

Pua filed the application on May 8, on the grounds that Najib did not have the locus standi to file the action allegedly intended to inconvenience him and to be an abuse of the court process.

At the proceeding yesterday, Najib was represented by lawyer Choo Shi Jin.

Najib, who is the prime minister, filed the suit in his personal capacity on March 5, naming Pua, 42, and news portal Mediarakyat.net owner Chan Chee Kong, 51, as the first and second defendants, respectively.

In his statement of claim, he alleged that on Nov 13 last year, Pua as the main speaker at a DAP fund-raising dinner had spoken about and implicated him in the 1MDB issue.

Najib alleged that derogatory remarks about 1MDB alluding to “an individual known as the prime minister” in Pua’s speech must surely have referred specifically to him.

He claimed that Pua’s speech was recorded and uploaded by the second defendant or his agent on Mediarakyat’s YouTube and website.

The prime minister claimed that the recording was shared by the first defendant or his agents in Mediarakyat’s Facebook.

He further claimed that as of March 2, the recording had been viewed 194,979 times on YouTube, while 200,709 Facebook users followed it on Pua’s Facebook page and 165,293 others on the Mediarakyat Facebook page.

The prime minister alleged that the defendant’s remarks had meant that he had robbed the people of their money through 1MDB, portrayed him as a person who could not be trusted and unfit to hold the public position.

Najib, who is also the UMNO president, alleged that the remarks had brought him into public scandal, odium and the contempt of friends and people who knew him, and the local and international community.

He also claimed that his relations between the local and international community had become strained because of the defendants’ action.

He alleged that his reputation had been destroyed, as the recording would continue to be accessed widely and easily worldwide through the Internet, blogs, forums and websites and re-shared.

Najib is seeking among others, general and exemplary damages, costs and an injunction to restrain the defendants or their agents from further circulating the contents of the alleged recording. – Bernama