KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has allowed Prime Minister Najib Razak to extend his ex-parte injunction to compel Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua to remove an offensive video from his Facebook pending the outcome of a hearing later this month.
Lawyer Nik Alia Hanadi, who represented Najib, said an ad interim injunction was allowed by judicial commissioner Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh during a proceeding in chambers.
She said the judge fixed May 24 to hear whether the video should be removed pending the outcome of the prime minister’s defamation suit against Pua.
On April 21, Najib had obtained the interim injunction, which would last for only 21 days, to prevent Pua from repeating or publishing the defamatory words again.
Pua’s lawyer Joanne Chua Tsu Fae said since the ex-parte injunction would lapse on May 12, an ad interim injunction was granted until the disposal of the hearing.
A check on Pua’s Facebook account revealed the DAP publicity chief had removed the contentious two-minute video.
The video was over the tabling of the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355), which seeks to increase punishments for shariah offences.
Najib, in his statement of claim, said on April 6, that Pua had made a statement via video at the Parliament building area.
The two-minute-21-second recording was uploaded on Pua’s Facebook page “Tony Pua”, entitled “BN abandons all Bills to give precedence to PAS RUU355 Private Member’s Bill”.
Najib said the live video was directed at him and it was done with malice and bad intention to defame him (Najib).
The BN chairman also wants an order that Pua publish an unconditional written apology in at least two newspapers.
On April 11, Najib had sent a letter of demand to Pua to retract the statement, remove the video, offer a public apology and pay legal costs, but the MP stood his ground.
The video clip in question was uploaded shortly after PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s motion on amendments to the Shariah Court was tabled.
This is the second defamation suit filed by Najib against Pua, the first was in March 2015 when the prime minister sued Pua and MediaRakyat portal owner Chan Chee Kong over the MP’s speech delivered at a DAP fund-raising dinner in November 2014 on 1MDB.
The matter is still pending in court.
On Jan 16, Pua filed a suit against Najib for abuse of his public office over the 1MDB funds.
Pua wants a declaration that Najib had committed the tort of misfeasance in public office and had abused his office to personally profit from the funds.