Mukhriz withdraws defamation appeal against ex-DAP leader

PPBM deputy president Mukhriz Mahathir.

PUTRAJAYA: PPBM deputy president Mukhriz Mahathir has withdrawn his appeal against the dismissal of a defamation suit following the claim by former DAP vice-chairman Tunku Aziz Tunku Ibrahim of a “secret pact” to make Mukhriz the next prime minister.

Lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla said the appeal hearing scheduled for today at the Court of Appeal was cancelled as the parties involved had settled the matter on “terms kept secret”.

“Not coming (to court) due to private settlement,” he said in a text message.

It is learnt that Mukhriz, who is now Kedah menteri besar, had earlier filed a notice of discontinuance.

On May 31 last year, High Court judge Nordin Hassan ruled that Tunku Aziz had not defamed Mukhriz in two press statements dated Dec 30, 2016 and Jan 3, 2017.

Nordin also ordered Mukhriz to pay Tunku Aziz costs of RM15,000.

The judge said the statements had not attacked Mukhriz’s integrity as a politician.

Mukhriz sued Tunku Aziz in 2017 over his claim of a “secret pact” to push for Mukhriz as prime minister and DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang as deputy prime minister.

In his suit, he sought damages as well as an apology from Tunku Aziz.

Mukhriz’s father, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, said at the time that he had never pushed his son to follow in his footsteps and become prime minister.

Mukhriz was reappointed as Kedah menteri besar after the May 9 general election, while Mahathir became prime minister for the second time.

Then-PKR president and Pandan MP Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail was appointed as deputy prime minister.