Ismail Sabri obtains court order against Agenda Daily over defamatory article

18 Feb 2022 09:49pm
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob - BERNAMA
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob - BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR - Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today obtained an interim injunction against the owner of Agenda Daily Media Enterprise over the alleged defamatory article published by the news portal last month.

Lawyer Joshua Tan, representing the prime minister, said Judicial Commissioner Evrol Mariette Peters granted the ex-parte application by Ismail Sabri as the plaintiff against Muhamad Izwan Mohd Zubit as the defendant in the proceedings held virtually today.

"The court has granted an order for the defendant to remove the posting titled Ismail Sabri bimbang jadi PM paling singkat, ‘rayu’ jangan tarik sokongan on Agenda Daily and an injunction for Agenda Daily from making any statements to state/imply that Ismail Sabri is desperate to remain as PM and that Ismail Sabri rayu (had begged) to certain political parties to not withdraw their support for him to remain as PM.

"The ex-parte order will last for 21 days and the inter-parte hearing is fixed on March 4,” the lawyer said.

Ismail Sabri, 60, applied for the injunction order in his defamation suit, which he filed in his personal capacity, against Muhamad Izwan, 37, at the High Court yesterday.

In his statement of claim, Ismail Sabri said that on Jan 30, Agenda Daily Media had published the article on its website which contained various ill-intentioned, defamatory and untrue statements regarding the plaintiff.

He said the article was re-posted on a website known as "The Malaysian Life”, which is an online news portal that could be accessed by the public.

The plaintiff said that the article, among others, implied that he was desperate to continue being the prime minister in whatever way and was even willing to beg certain political parties not to withdraw their support for him besides inferring that he was concerned about becoming the prime minister with the shortest tenure in Malaysian history.

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"The article also implied that I was not loyal to Umno and was only interested to continue being prime minister regardless of Umno’s interests and more concerned about my position as prime minister and not the country’s interests,” the plaintiff said in the statement of claim.

As a result of the publication of the article, Ismail Sabri said his reputation as an Umno member and as prime minister had been tarnished and hurt his feelings.

"The publication also caused me emotional turmoil and the defamatory statements contained in the article can also have a negative effect on my political career,” he said.

According to Ismail Sabri, although his lawyer had sent a letter of demand dated Feb 3 asking the defendant to delete the article and to apologise, nothing has been done until today.

As such, Ismail Sabri sought an injunction order for the defendant to delete the defamatory article on all websites and social media operated by the defendant.

He also applied for an injunction order to prevent the defendant or his agent from issuing similar defamatory statements against the plaintiff and that the defendant be ordered to submit documents to show that the said article has been deleted within 24 hours from the date of judgment.

He is also seeking an apology from the defendant in a form to be decided by the plaintiff that will be published on the Agenda Daily website and in 21 local newspapers within seven days from the judgment date.

Apart from that, Ismail Sabri also sought general, additional and exemplary damages which will be assessed later by the court, interest of five per cent from the date of judgment until full settlement as well as costs and relief deemed appropriate by the court. - BERNAMA