Puad Zarkashi fails in bid to set aside injunction by Muhyiddin

Puad Zarkashi fails in bid to set aside injunction by Muhyiddin
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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 26): Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi's application to set aside the interim injunction against him by former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was denied by the High Court on Friday.

Justice Datuk Seri Mohd Firuz Jaffril in a brief decision denied Puad’s application to remove the injunction in the defamation suit brought against him by Muhyiddin.

He, however, stated that all is not lost for Puad as he still can claim damages from the former premier at the end of the trial should he win.

The judge also rejected an application from Muhyiddin’s camp to extend the interim injunction and make it permanent. He said it was rejected as Puad had already removed the controversial Facebook post containing alleged defamatory statements which Muhyiddin is suing him for.

Puad appeared in court and declined to comment on the decision. 

The judge then set Dec 9 for case management for the legal action to continue which would lead to a full trial.

Lawyers Datuk DP Naban and Rosli Dahlan represented Muhyiddin, while counsels G Rajasingam and Shahrul Fazli Kamarulzaman appeared for Puad.

On March 1, Muhyiddin obtained an ex parte interim injunction order from the court to restrain Puad, an Umno Supreme Council member, from republishing allegedly defamatory statements over a quarantine order involving the then prime minister on his (Puad's) Facebook page.

In his application filed with the writ of summons, Muhyiddin applied for an interim injunction to restrain Puad, or his agent, representative or anyone from republishing, reposting and resharing the allegedly defamatory statements on the latter’s Facebook page.

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

Meanwhile, in a writ of summons filed in his personal capacity, Muhyiddin claimed that on Feb 8, Puad published a post on his Facebook account under the name “Dr Puad Zarkashi” with the title "Kuarantin pun ada dua darjat?".

Muhyiddin claimed that the post could be accessed by Internet users across the world and had received 1,200 reactions, 215 comments and 182 shares.

He claimed that the post referred to “PM”, an abbreviation of the prime minister, and that the post contained untrue, unwarranted, unsubstantiated and mischievous remarks against him and defamed him.

Muhyiddin claimed that the statements implied that he and his entourage refused to undergo quarantine for 10 days upon their return from their official trip to Jakarta, Indonesia.

Puad, in his defence, claimed that his posting did not specifically refer to Muhyiddin, and hence the premier had no locus standi (legal standing) to initiate the suit.

Surin Murugiah