KUALA LUMPUR: The Taiping High Court has ordered Perak PAS commissioner Razman Zakaria to file his statement of defence on the defamation suit filed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim by Jan 31.
The lawsuit is over a speech that Razman made allegedly linking the Pakatan Harapan chairman with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) culture.
Anwar’s lawyer Datuk S.N Nair said the court also ordered his client to reply to the statement of defence by Feb 20.
“Further case management is set for Feb 24,” he told Bernama after the case management before Judicial Commissioner Noor Ruwena Md Nurdin which was conducted online today (Jan 6).
It was also attended by another lawyer representing Anwar, Jaden Phoon and Razman’s counsel Nurul Atiqah Badrul Hisham.
Anwar filed the lawsuit on Dec 5, naming the Gunung Semanggol assemblyman as the sole defendant.
Based on the statement of claim, Anwar said on Nov 6 last year, the defendant spoke about the matter during the 15th General Election (GE15) campaign at the Tebuk Pancur night market.
He claimed the speech was broadcast live on Razman’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 till today.
According to the PKR president, the live video broadcast was later published through an article dated Nov 6, 2022, in Malay and English and uploaded on a news portal.
The Tambun Member of Parliament said the defamatory statements were made to ruin his reputation, adding that the allegations in the article were untrue as he had always championed Islamic teachings and values.
He also claimed that the defendant’s allegations were made to sully his good name by inciting the public and creating hatred towards him and the party during the GE15 campaign period.
The defendant had also violated Section 4A of the Election Offences Act 1954 and failed to apologise to him over his actions, Anwar said.
Anwar is seeking general, compensatory, aggravated and exemplary damages and an injunction to stop the defendant or his agents from repeating or causing the publication of the defamatory article in addition to claiming costs, interest and other appropriate relief. – Bernama