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Puad Zarkashi removes controversial Facebook post involving Muhyiddin

KUALA LUMPUR (March 5): UMNO Supreme Council member Datuk Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi has removed his controversial Facebook post containing alleged defamatory statements on the quarantine order involving Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, following the High Court's ex parte injunction imposed on Mohd Puad.

Checks by showed that the Feb 9, 2021 Facebook post had been removed.

Yesterday Muhyiddin, through his lawyers from Rosli Dahlan Saravana Partnership, tried to initiate contempt of court proceedings against former Batu Pahat member of Parliament Mohd Puad after the latter initially refused to remove the post.

After seeking clarification from the court, Mohd Puad removed the post. Yesterday he said in a statement he woould abide by the court order ahead of the hearing of the inter partes injunction on March 12.

Nevertheless, in letters sighted by from Muhyiddin's lawyers dated today to Mohd Puad's lawyers, Muhyiddin's lawyers are moving ahead with the contempt of court proceedings against Mohd Puad for not removing the post immediately.

This, they said, had disrupted the administration of justice as the words in the ex parte order gained on Monday and sent to them that same night are clear.

"If you were uncertain as to the meaning of the phrase 'causing/or continuing to publish, post, share, republish which is stated in the injunction order you should have sought clarification from us

"Instead your client continued the publication of the impugned post. This act on the part of your client is contemptuous. Our client considers your client's act is in breach of the order and undermining the administration of justice," one of the letters read, and that Mohd Puad has to purge his contempt despite having removed the post yesterday.

"Unless he apologises to court in unequivocal terms, our instructions are to initiate contempt proceedings against your client. We hope your client will apologise within 24 hours," the letter stated.

On Monday, it was reported that Muhyiddin had obtained an interim injunction to restrain Mohd Puad from republishing allegedly defamatory statements implying that he and his entourage refused to undergo quarantine for 10 days upon their return from an official trip to Jakarta, Indonesia.

It was reported that in his ex parte application filed with the writ of summons then, Muhyiddin had applied for the injunction order to restrain Mohd Puad as the defendant or Mohd Puad's agent, representative or anyone from republishing, reposting or resharing the allegedly defamatory statements on Mohd Puad's Facebook page.

Muhyiddin filed the application on the grounds that the statements by Mohd Puad were false, defamatory and had tarnished the reputation and good name of the prime minister, locally and internationally, according to news reports.

Muhyiddin's lawyer Rosli Dahlan reportedly said High Court Judge Datuk Seri Mohd Firuz Jaffril allowed the ex parte application by Muhyiddin on Monday afternoon in the presence of his two other lawyers, Datuk DP Naban and Louis Liaw.

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5 March 2021

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