Rafizi sued for defamation over flood mitigation project

KUALA LUMPUR: Environment and Water Minister Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man has sued PKR deputy president Mohd Rafizi Ramli (pic) for allegedly defaming him regarding the approval of several projects, including on flood mitigation.

Tuan Ibrahim, 62, filed the suit through Yusfarizal Aziz & Zaid at the High Court here on Thursday, naming Rafizi, 45, as the sole defendant.

His lawyer Yusfarizal Yussoff, when contacted by Bernama, confirmed that the suit had been filed.

In his statement of claim, Tuan Ibrahim alleged that Rafizi made defamatory statements against him at two press conferences at the PKR headquarters in Petaling Jaya, which were streamed live on the defendant’s YouTube account, on Nov 7 and 9.

The PAS deputy president claimed that the statements implied that after Parliament was dissolved, discussions and efforts involving the plaintiff were actively conducted to approve projects worth RM2bil to Mangkubumi Sdn Bhd through direct negotiations for the Sungai Langat flood mitigation project.

The plaintiff claimed that Rafizi’s remarks implied that he approved two sewage treatment plant and sewerage pipe network projects in Papan, Kinta district, and one project for building a sewerage pipe network in Petaling Jaya, all worth more than RM2.3bil, apart from conspiring with then prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to secretly award projects under the “Program Jana Wibawa”.

Tuan Ibrahim claimed that the statements were false and made with malicious intent by twisting facts to give the impression that he was dishonest and untrustworthy and had exceeded his power as a minister after the dissolution of Parliament.

He said the statements created a bad perception of him as a political leader who always practised Islamic principles in his administration and caused him to be criticised by netizens on social media where he could not reply or clarify.

He is seeking a public apology in local Malay and English newspapers, on Rafizi’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as well as the PKR website, within 14 days from the date of judgment, apart from retracting or deleting all related media statements on the same social media within 48 hours from the date of judgment.

The plaintiff has also applied for an injunction to restrain the defendant, his agents or assistants from broadcasting and publishing any similar statements and videos, whether directly or indirectly, apart from claiming for general, exemplary and aggravated damages.