PETALING JAYA: Mukhriz Mahathir has instructed his lawyers to act against Prime Minister Najib Razak for allegedly making disparaging remarks to influence the court on the outcome of his defamation suit against the Prime Minister’s press secretary.
“I find that the statement is intentionally calculated by Najib to interfere with the course of justice, knowing well my suit against Tengku Sariffuddin Ahmad,” Mukhriz said in a statement.
The High Court has fixed trial of the suit for two days from Thursday.
Najib is said to have made the statement last Friday in an article entitled “Mahathir’s latest U-turn demonstrates his RCI panic”.
Mukhriz, who is also PPBM deputy president, said Najib had allegedly stated in the article that “he (Mahathir Mohamad) is obsessed by saving his family legacy and making his son (Mukhriz) prime minister.
“In fact, my defamation suit against Tengku Sarifuddin, is specifically to seek the court’s determination whether similar words appearing in Tengku Sarifuddin’s impugned statements, were defamatory in nature against me,” he added.
Mukhriz said he was very disappointed that Najib, a person holding the highest position of authority in Malaysia, could stoop so low as to take such desperate measures.
“In my opinion, it is the clearest example of interference and exertion of unlawful pressure onto the court,” he added.
Mukhriz said he had instructed his lawyers to take all legal options available to correct this wrong committed by Najib.
Last year, Mukhriz, the former Kedah menteri besar and incumbent Ayer Hitam assemblyman, filed the suit over four media statements issued by Tengku Sariffuddin on April 15, 20, 23, and 26.
The four press releases were “Prime Minister’s Press Secretary’s Statement on Donation Confirmation by Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister”, “Prime Minister’s Press Secretary’s Statement on Former DPM’s Reuters Interview”, “Mukhriz Mahathir’s Statement: Response by Prime Minister’s Press Secretary” and “Prime Minister’s Press Secretary’s Statement on Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir”.
In his defence Tengku Sariffuddin said he had never defamed Mukhriz in any of his media statements seeking to clarify issues and untruths spread about Najib.
Tengku Sariffuddin said the statements were published based on qualified privilege and without malice.
He said his media statements were made in his official capacity to prevent rumours or political allegations made against the prime minister.