KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court set July 29 to hear Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s application to expunge certain parts of the statement of defence filed by Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua in a suit over the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) issue.
The court also set the same day to hear Najib’s request to strike out several parts of the statement of defence by Chan Chee Kong, the owner of Mediarakyat.net portal, as well as to hear Pua’s application to strike out Najib’s suit.
Chan’s lawyer Latheefa Koya told reporters on Wednesday that all the three applications would be heard before Judge Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera.
She said High Court deputy registrar K. Pavani fixed the date in chambers when the case came up for case management.
Najib, in his personal capacity, filed the defamation suit on March 5 and named Pua, 42, and Chan, 51, as the first and second defendants.
In his statement of claim, Najib said that on Nov 13 last year, Pua, as the main speaker at a DAP fund-raising dinner, 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 YouTube and the Mediarakyat website under what he claimed was a libellous heading.
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).
Najib 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.
He contended that 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 is seeking general and exemplary damages, costs and an injunction to prevent the two defendants or their agents from publishing further the defamatory words against him. -Bernama