Malaysia's PM Muhyiddin sues an Umno leader, gets court injunction against similar remarks

Malaysian PM Muhyiddin Yassin had sent Umno supreme council member Puad Zarkashi a letter of demand for a public apology and compensation of RM10 million on Feb 16, 2021. PHOTOS: MUHYIDDIN YASSIN/FACEBOOK, DRPUAD ZARKASHI/FACEBOOK

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday (March 1) sued an Umno leader over a Facebook post about Covid-19 health protocols, and was granted an interim court injunction to restrain the politician from republishing the statements.

This was a follow-up to Tan Sri Muhyiddin's letter of demand on Feb 16 against the Umno supreme council member Puad Zarkashi, demanding a public apology and compensation of RM10 million (S$3.3 million) for allegedly defaming the premier in a Feb 9 Facebook post.

The Prime Minister's lawyer, Mr Rosli Dahlan, told Malaysiakini on Monday that the judge granted the injunction application to prevent Datuk Dr Puad from publishing, posting, sharing, republishing, reposting and/or resharing the Facebook post.

The lawsuit was filed at the Kuala Lumpur High Court, claiming Datuk Dr Puad's statements were false, defamatory and had tarnished the reputation and the good name of the Prime Minister, locally and internationally, Bernama news agency reported.

Mr Muhyiddin, 73, claimed that the Facebook post could be accessed across the world and had received 1,200 reactions, 215 comments and 182 shares, Bernama said.

Datuk Dr Puad, 63, a former deputy education minister, is a harsh critic of the Perikatan Nasional government led by PM Muhyiddin, although Umno is a member of the alliance that governs Malaysia.

The Umno supreme council is the Malay nationalist party's highest decision-making body.

"The damage to the plaintiff's reputation that is suffered pending disposal of this suit cannot be adequately compensated by damages even if the suit is eventually decided in the plaintiff's favour," the notice of application for the injunction states, according to a copy seen by Malaysiakini.

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