KUALA LUMPUR, Jun 17 – Press Secretary to the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Sharifuddin Tengku Ahmad said he issued four press statements to clarify and stop the spread of untruths about Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak. Tengku Sharifuddin said he had the heavy task and responsibility to defend and stop the spread of untruths so that the people get the real facts and not confused by action of irresponsible parties for political gain.
In his statement of defence filed on June 14, Tengku Sharifuddin said there was no malice in issuing the press statements
other than for the knowledge and interest of Malaysians. Tengku Sharifuddin, 54, said this in his statement of defence against a defamation suit filed by former Kedah mentri besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, 51, on May 3, claiming that he issued four defamatory statements on April 15, 20, 23 and 26.
He said this was neccessary since he was responsible for enlightening the people on political statements by certain parties when the statements were false and the actions had an evil agenda to disturb the government administration. The issues and allegations were politically motivated to interfere with the duties and position of the prime minister and as the press secretary, he took the right action in issuing press statements on behalf of the prime minister.
Tengku Sharifuddin argued the press statements were fair and reasonable based on the facts, issues and matters raised and widely discussed at the time. He said the statements published in the media was in his official capacity as press secretary to the prime minister and published in the official media including the Prime Minister’s Office official Facebook page “PMO Malaysia,” the Office of the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
He said that it is evident that these press statements were not personal allegations of the defendant. The press statements when read as a whole or separately in the usual manner were not defamatory of the plaintiff. Tengku Sharifuddin applied to the court to dismiss the suit brought by Mukhriz with costs. — Bernama