The Kuala Lumpur High Court today dismissed Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s application to obtain an interim injunction against Dr Mahathir Mohamad pending the disposal of his lawsuit against the former premier.
The former premier’s lawyers Mior Nor Haidir Suhaimi and Rafique Rashid Ali said in a statement that judge Rozana Ali Yusoff ruled this was not the stage for any parties to argue the merits of the case.
The court decided that Zahid, the plaintiff, would have to prove that Mahathir’s remarks were untrue.
The judge also ordered Zahid to pay RM5,000 in costs and fixed Aug 23 for case management of the trial.
Lawyer Shahrul Fazli Kamarulzaman represented the former deputy prime minister.
Zahid filed a defamation suit against Mahathir back in April over remarks the latter had made during a press conference in Putrajaya on Feb 23.
Mahathir alleged that Zahid had met him to try and get on his good side as the latter anticipated he would be facing criminal charges.
This reportedly occurred before Mahathir took office in 2018 when he said it was clear he would become prime minister.
In his statement of claim, Zahid denied ever meeting the Pejuang chairperson to discuss his court cases or any action by enforcement agencies prior to Mahathir becoming prime minister.
On May 17, in a statement of defence against the lawsuit, Mahathir claimed the five meetings took place on June 7, 2018, Sept 13, 2018, and once a day from Feb 23 to 25, 2020.
However, Zahid has denied those five meetings between June 2018 and February 2020 were to discuss the Umno president’s criminal court cases.
Zahid contended that the 2018 meetings involved the then prime minister allegedly pleading for the former to dissolve Umno and bring its members into Bersatu.
At the time Mahathir was the Bersatu chairperson but was expelled from the party in late 2020. He later founded Pejuang.
He claimed that they involved discussions triggered by the Sheraton Move which toppled the Pakatan Harapan administration in February of that year.
Zahid is seeking aggravated and exemplary damages as well as an injunction for Mahathir, his officers, aides or agents from repeating the allegedly defamatory remarks, as well as instructing the nonagenarian to make efforts to delete or edit out recordings of his remarks published by the media. – Malaysiakini