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Nov 26 fixed for decision on Puad Zarkashi’s bid to set aside Muhyiddin’s injunction

KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 21): The High Court has fixed Nov 26 to deliver its decision on Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi’s bid to set aside the interim injunction obtained against him by former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

The ex-parte interim injunction, granted by Justice Datuk Mohd Firuz Jaffril on March 1, restrains Puad from posting, publishing or repeating alleged defamatory words from his Facebook post titled “There are two levels of quarantine”.

Muhyiddin is seeking to make the injunction permanent with a follow-up inter partes injunction application, in addition to his defamation suit against Puad.

Puad, who was represented by counsel G Rajasingam, had argued that nowhere in the post was there any reference to the former premier directly.

Muhyiddin’s lawyer Datuk DP Naban, meanwhile, asserted that Puad had failed in the defence of justification, fair comment and qualified privilege and hence the injunction should be made permanent.

"The defence had not rebutted our submissions and failed to show that the three defence applies as there is no verification," he said, adding there was no preferential treatment accorded to Muhyddin on his return from Indonesia.

Muhyiddin — who was also represented by lawyers Rosli Dahlan and Louis Liaw — has named Puad as the sole defendant in his suit and is seeking general, exemplary and aggravated damages.

The former premier is also seeking an apology to be posted on Puad’s Facebook page and also other news outlets that carried the news.

On Feb 16, Muhyiddin through his lawyers had issued a letter of demand requesting Puad to pay RM10 million in compensation along with a retraction and an apology for posting the article.

Muhyiddin had said Puad’s post implied that the ex-premier refused to be quarantined after his official visit to Jakarta and that is the reason the health minister had issued a new order via a federal gazette that Cabinet ministers who return from official visits abroad only need to undergo three days of quarantine.

The Umno Supreme Council member’s post also insinuated that Muhyiddin had abused his power when he was prime minister to obtain preferential treatment under the law or under the movement control order, the letter mentioned.

The former premier’s lawyers claimed that such statements seriously injured Muhyiddin's integrity, credit, goodwill and reputation and eroded the public’s confidence in him.

Puad had stated that he would not apologise for the contents of his Facebook post.

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21 October 2021

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