Defamation suit resolved, Perak PAS chief apologises to Anwar over LGBT remark

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The defamation suit filed by Anwar Ibrahim against Perak PAS commissioner Razman Zakaria was resolved amicably today with the latter making a public apology to the prime minister in the Taiping High Court.

Anwar had filed the suit against Razman over a speech that allegedly linked the prime minister, who is also Pakatan Harapan chairman, with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) culture.

Razman, in reading out his statement of apology before judicial commissioner Noor Ruwena Md Nurdin, said his speech had offended and slandered Anwar.

“The (content) speech has morally tarnished and affected the good reputation of Yang Amat Berhormat (Anwar) as well as caused him embarrassment and distress,” he said.

Farhan Najib

“I take this opportunity to retract all the slander and accusations thrown at Yang Amat Berhomat and express my deepest regret and apology. I promise not to repeat the words in any form in the future.”

The court then recorded the settlements that were agreed by both parties.

Anwar was represented by lawyers SN Nair, Jaden Phoon Wai Ken and Wong Guo Jin while lawyer Naran Singh represented Razman.

Nair, when contacted by Bernama, confirmed the matter and said his client accepted the apology.

Anwar filed the suit on December 5 last year, claiming that on November 6, the defendant had made a speech while campaigning in the general election at Tebuk Pancur night market.

He claimed the speech was broadcast live on the defendant’s Facebook under the user name “Haji Razman Zakaria” and was viewed more than 94,400 times, received over 5,100 reactions, 429 shares and over 2,600 comments.

The Facebook video was then published in an article, with the title “Razman dakwa Anwar bawa agenda LGBT, bimbang kerjasama PH-BN” dated November 6 in Malay and English in a news portal.

The Tambun MP claimed that the defamatory statements and published article brought the meaning that he was a liar, practised and supported communist ideology and encouraged same-gender marriage.

Anwar also claimed that the defamatory statements were made to ruin his reputation and that the allegations stated in the article were untrue as he had always championed Islamic values and a wider reformation agenda for administration.

He said the speech was intended to tarnish his good name by inciting the public and creating hatred towards him and the party during the general election campaign period.

He was seeking general, compensatory, aggravated and exemplary damages as well as an injunction to stop the defendant or his agents from repeating or causing the publication of the slanderous article in addition to claiming costs, interest and other relief deemed fit by the court.