PM gets ad interim injunction against Agenda Daily in defamation suit

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Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today obtained an ad interim injunction against Agenda Daily over an article it published which has become the subject of his defamation suit against the website.

High Court Judicial Commissioner Evrol Mariette Peters allowed Ismail’s application as an earlier ex-parte injunction will expire on March 11.

On Feb 18, the Bera Member of Parliament obtained an ex-parte injunction to immediately remove the disputed article.

Ismail Sabri is suing Agenda Daily for its article titled “Ismail Sabri bimbang jadi PM paling singkat, ‘rayu’ jangan tarik sokongan” (“Ismail Sabri concerned about being PM with the shortest term, begs not to withdraw support”).

He is contending that the article implied he had begged his Perikatan Nasional (PN) allies for their continued support for him to remain as prime minister.

Ismail’s lawyer Joshua Tan said the interim injunction would remain in force pending the dispelling of an inter pares injunction on April 23.

“The defendant is requesting for time to file his affidavit-in-reply against the injunction filed by the plaintiff (Ismail Sabri) and the court allowed the defendant’s application.

“Therefore, we asked for the ad-interim injunction to maintain status quo,” he said when contacted today.

Ismail, who is suing in his personal capacity, named Muhamad Izwan Mohd Zubit as the defendant, being the owner of Agenda Daily Media Enterprise, a business enterprise that operates the news portal.

In the statement of claim, Ismail Sabri said the posting in its ordinary meaning and by inference states that he was concerned about becoming the shortest-serving prime minister in Malaysian history.

He said it was also implied that he was desperate to hold office at all cost and was willing to beg (“rayu”) a certain political party not to withdraw support for him.

He added that the posting also gave the impression that he was concerned only about his position and not that of the people.

Ismail Sabri, who is also an Umno vice-president is seeking a permanent injunction, damages and an apology to be published in Agenda Daily and two other local papers.

On Jan 31, an aide to Ismail Sabri lodged a police report against three websites over the reports, saying they were fake news filled with unverified claims.

They were Agenda Daily and two blogs, The Malaysia Life and Dialog Rakyat which reposted the article. – NST