KUALA LUMPUR – The prime minister’s press secretary Datuk Seri Tengku Sharifuddin Tengku Ahmad has filed an application to strike out Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir’s lawsuit against him.
The defendant’s lawyer Ooi She Yi told reporters that he filed the application on grounds that the former Kedah menteri besar’s lawsuit was scandalous, frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of the court process.
“The application was filed yesterday (Aug 9) and acknowledged to Mukhriz’s lawyer today,” the lawyer said after a proceeding in chambers before judicial commissioner Datuk Roslan Abu Bakar.
Counsel Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla who is representing Mukhriz confirmed the matter. The court has set Oct 11 for hearing of the application.
Mukhriz, 51, filed the civil action on May 3 alleging that Tengku Sharifuddin had issued four defamatory statements, on April 15, 20, 23, and 26, against him.
The statements were issued under the headings, ‘Prime Minister’s Press Secretary Statement on Donation Confirmation by Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister’, ‘Prime Minister’s Press Secretary Statement on Former DPM’s Reuters Interview’, ‘Mukhriz Mahathir Statement: Response by Prime Minister’s Press Secretary’, and ‘Prime Minister’s Press Secretary Statement on Tun Mahathir Mohamed and Mukhriz Mahathir’.
Mukhriz claimed the statements implied that Dr Mahathir and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had conspired in an ill-intentioned campaign to topple the government which was democratically elected and that he was involved directly in the plot between Dr Mahathir and Muhyiddin.
Tengku Sharifuddin in his statement of claim denied that the four statements had disparaged Mukhriz and stressed that the statements were to explain and counter false accusations against Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
In his statement of defence filed on June 14, he said he bore no malice in issuing the media statements which were published for information and in the interest of the Malaysian people.
He stressed that he had a duty and responsbility to defend the prime minister and counter the false accusations for the people to have an accurate picture and facts, which had been deliberately twisted by irresponsible parties for political interest.
He said as a civil servant and press secretary to the prime minister he had a responsibility and duty to provide explanations and statements on the political situation in the country and was also entrusted to act and issue statements on the political development in the country.
Tengku Sharifuddin said the media statements were fair comment and justified based on facts, issues and matters being debated at the time. – BERNAMA