Court allows Dzulkefly Ahmad to amend defamation claim against Najib

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The High Court has allowed former health minister Dzulkefly Ahmad to amend his writ of summons and statement of claim in a defamation suit filed against former prime minister Najib Razak.

Dzulkefly’s lawyer, SN Nair, said judicial commissioner Arief Emran Arifin allowed the application during an online proceeding today.

Lawyer Wan Mohammad Arfan Wan Othman, who represented Najib, did not object to the application.

“The court also instructed Najib’s counsel to file his client’s defence by March 29,” he said, adding that the next case management had been fixed for March 30.

Nair said his firm had been appointed to take over conduct of the suit from the previous solicitors.

Dzulkefly filed a suit against Najib on Dec 31 last year over Najib’s Facebook post alleging that the former health minister practised nepotism as his daughter, Nurul Iman, had been appointed a board member of Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia in 2019.

In his statement of claim, Dzulkefly said Najib had defamed him with the allegation made in the Facebook post on Aug 24, 2020, which he said was reported by a Malay daily.

The Kuala Selangor MP, who had denied the nepotism allegation, said Najib’s post was still on his Facebook page as at November 2021.

Dzulkefly said he had sent a notice of demand through his lawyers to Najib in January last year, to which Najib’s legal representative responded in February that the Pekan MP had done nothing wrong, prompting the libel suit.

He also claimed Nurul Iman’s appointment was made before he became the health minister in the Pakatan Harapan government and that she was reappointed or retained for the position in the microcredit organisation early last year.

“Najib, with malice and mala fide, libellously made the allegations without verification, resulting in his posting to be shared 970 times by his followers.

“The Facebook post was edited six times and this shows that he planned its publication to defame me,” he said. – FMT