Former de facto religious affairs minister Mujahid Yusof Rawa has filed a defamation suit against PAS’ party organ Harakah over articles linked to entrepreneur Nur Sajat.
His legal representative, law firm Messrs Akram Hizri Azad & Azmir, filed the writ at the Kuala Lumpur High Court Registry two days ago.
The writ named Harakah reporter Aziz Muda, the newspaper’s chief editor Wan Nordin Wan Yaacob, the daily’s online portal operator Galeri Media Serbanika Sdn Bhd, and the newspaper’s printer Percetakan Turbo (M) Sdn Bhd, as the first, second, third and fourth defendants respectively.
According to the suit’s Statement of Claim sighted by Malaysiakini, Mujahid is suing over an online article uploaded to Harakahdaily.net on Feb 7 as well as an article published in the newspaper’s print edition for Feb 10 to 13.
In February, Mujahid was the then minister in the prime minister’s department in charge of religious affairs.
It was reported by local media that Nur Sajat was an allegedly controversial figure due to gender issue, as well as the entrepreneur’s alleged photographs uploaded on social media.
On Feb 4, it was reported that a controversy arose when Nur Sajat purportedly posted selfies on Instagram wearing female prayer attire while in Mecca. NGO Justice for Sisters reportedly expressed concern over calls for authorities to investigate the entrepreneur over the matter.
The Harakah articles targeted by the suit are in relation to the religious authorities’ approach towards the issue.
Mujahid, who is also Amanah vice-president, claimed that the articles in question are defamatory and malicious in order to tarnish his dignity, credibility and reputation at the material time as a minister in the prime minister’s department, among others.
He claimed that despite his lawyers having issued letters of demand to the defendants dated Feb 20, they purportedly failed and/or refused and/or were negligent to address his demands in relation to the articles.
Through the legal action, Mujahid is seeking a court order to compel the defendants to make a public apology to him, which is to be uploaded and published by local Bahasa Malaysia newspapers within 14 days of judgment.
The plaintiff seeks for the defendants to retract the impugned articles from Harakah’s online news portal as well as its print edition.
Mujahid seeks for the defendants to give an undertaking to not write and/or report further defamatory statements or words against him, as well as to pay general, exemplary and aggravated damages to him.
In the alternative, the plaintiff seeks for the court to determine general, exemplary and aggravated damages which are to be paid by the defendants within 14 days of the date of determination.
Mujahid seeks an injunction to prevent the defendants from further communicating, commenting, repeating and/or publish defamatory statements against him.
He also seeks five percent interest on the damages awarded from the date of the writ to full settlement, cost and any other relief deemed fit by the court.
When contacted by Malaysiakini, Mujahid’s counsel Noorazmir Zakaria confirmed that the lawsuit was filed on Aug 12.
The lawyer also confirmed that the cause papers have been served on all four defendants.
“The (cause) papers were served on the lawyers from Messrs Wan Rohimi & Associates, who are acting for the first, second and third defendants,” he said, adding that the fourth defendant was served directly. – Malaysiakini