KUALA LUMPUR, Jul 13 – Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak wants to withdraw his suit against Damansara Member of Parliament Tony Pua Kiam Wee over a video clip relating to the tabling of Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment) Bill or RUU355.
Lawyer Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun, representing Najib, said that Pua, represented by lawyer Tan Ch’eng Leong, however, objected to Najib’s application to withdraw the suit on the ground that Pua had obtained permission to appeal from the Federal Court over the injunction order obtained by Najib.
Mohd Hafarizam told reporters that High Court Judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Abdul Wahab fixed July 26 for submissions whether the defendant (Pua) could object to Najib’s application to withdraw the suit.
“Najib wants to withdraw the suit but the defendant is objecting to the withdrawal application. So, can the defendant prevent our withdrawal or not?” he said, jokingly adding that such a situation never happened before.
Pua in his appeal questioned the Court of Appeal judicial notice stating that Najib did not commit an offence involving 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and the judicial notice was questioned as it involved public interest and could affect other summons cases.
On Feb 14, the Court of Appeal dismissed Pua’s appeal to lift an interim interparte injunction obtained by Najib against him (Pua) over the video clip which the former prime minister claimed was defamatory.
According to the Court’s three-man bench, investigations were carried out by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Royal Malaysia Police, Bank Negara and the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) and the results which have been disclosed to the public by the Attorney-General and the MACC cleared Najib of any criminal wrongdoing.
On April 21, 2017, Najib sued Pua in his personal capacity, alleging that Pua had made defamatory statements against him in the live video relating to the tabling of a Private Member’s Bill to amend the RUU355.
The former prime minister claimed the video clip uploaded by Pua or his agents on the defendant’s official Facebook site, lasting two minutes and 21 seconds and entitled ‘BN Govt abandons all Bills to give precedence to PAS’ RUU355 Private Member’s Bill’, could be accessed widely and freely on the internet.
Najib also claimed the live video contained words referring specifically to him and carried the meaning that he abused his power by giving orders through the Cabinet to Dewan Rakyat Speaker to give way to Marang MP to propose his private bill and set aside other bills. — Bernama