PM Najib sues DAP’s Pua over 1MDB rants (updated)
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has filed a defamation suit against Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua Kiam Wee and another person over Pua’s remark about 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
Najib, 61, filed the suit yesterday at the Civil High Court registry here through Messrs Hafarizam Wan & Aisha Mubarak.
The media obtained the writ of summons today.
In the suit, filed in his personal capacity, Najib had named Pua, 42, and Chan Chee Kong, 51, owner of online portal Mediarakyat.net, as the first and second defendants.
Najib’s lawyer, Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun, told reporters that his law firm would serve the writ of summons on the two defendants today.
In his statement of claim, Najib said that on Nov 13 last year, Pua, as the main speaker at a DAP fund-raising dinner, had made what he alleged was a libellous remark about 1MDB.
He said a recording of the speech was uploaded by Chan himself and/or his agents on the Mediarakyat YouTube and Mediarakyat website under what he claimed was a libellous heading.
Najib said the recording was subsequently shared by Pua and/or his agents on his Facebook account and by Chan and/or his agents on the Mediarakyat Facebook account.
He claimed that as of March 2, the YouTube recording was watched 194,979 times while 200,709 users of Facebook followed the recording on Pua’s Facebook account and 165,293 more on the Mediarakyat Facebook account.
Najib said that based on the fact, a large section of Internet users had watched the recording and heard the defamatory words uttered by Pua.
Najib said the recording of the speech contained words that referred to and related to him and defamed him and the individual known as the ‘prime minister’ and must have referred specifically to him (Najib).
He claimed that the defamatory words in normal circumstances meant, among other things, that the plaintiff had robbed the people of their money with regard to 1MDB transactions and, as such, the plaintiff was someone who could not be trusted and not qualified to hold public office.
Najib, who is also the Umno president, said the words constituted a very serious defamation and resulted in him (Najib) being brought into public scandal, hatred and humiliation among friends, acquaintances and the public in the country and at the international level as well as caused a tense relationship between the people and the international community and the plaintiff.
He said the publication of the defamatory words had damaged his reputation, which would continue for years because the recording of the speech could be accessed widely and easily throughout the world via the Internet, blogs, forums and websites without any restriction and could be reshared.
Najib claimed that Pua and Chan did not make any effort to contact him to verify the truth of the defamatory words before publication.
Najib said he, through his counsel, sent a notice of claim of defamation to both the defendants on Nov 21 last year but they continued to publish the defamatory words against him.
As such, Najib claimed for general damages, exemplary damages, costs and an injunction to prevent the first and second defendants or their agents from publishing further the defamatory words against him.
Najib also demanded that Pua and Chan publish a written apology in the newspapers and magazines to be identified by him in the form and terminology to be determined by him.
He also demanded that the first defendant remove the recording of the speech from his Facebook account and the second defendant, from the Mediarakyat YouTube, the Mediarakyat website and the Mediarakyat Facebook immediately from the date of judgment.