KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 7): Caretaker Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor has filed a defamation suit against Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail over the alleged theft of rare earths in Bukit Enggang, Sik.
The suit was filed on Thursday (August 3) at the High Court in Alor Setar through Messrs Faizi & Associates, with the PKR secretary general named as the sole defendant.
Should the court decide in his favour, Sanusi wants an apology from Saifuddin that has to be published in various media within 14 days of the court decision and for the removal of all related comments by Saifuddin in the media.
The caretaker menteri besar is also seeking general, aggravated and exemplary damages to be assessed by the court.
Sanusi is also seeking a court order for Saifuddin to be compelled not to repeat or let his agents upload any further related defamatory statements. He also wants a permanent injunction barring the minister or his agents from repeating the purported defamatory words.
In his statement of claim, Sanusi said the statements allegedly uttered by the minister between July 14 and 15 carried the meaning that the PAS leader had abused his power as menteri besar and chairman of Menteri Besar Incorporated (MBI) to steal or cause the theft of rare earth, or was guilty of complicity in the stealing, in Bukit Enggang, Sik, Kedah. He insisted that he is not involved directly or indirectly in any such purported theft.
Sanusi said the statements also insinuated that he was not Islamic, not honourable, has no integrity, is a corrupted person and had violated the laws of the country by causing the theft.
Further, Sanusi also said that the statements complained of carried the meaning that he was not efficient or transparent in managing Kedah's finances, including an amount of RM1.6 billion allocated by the Malaysian Road Records Information System (Marris), that was supposed to be used for the development and management of roads in the state.
He also complained that the words Saifuddin uttered meant that he was not competent and that he deliberately violated the Federal Constitution by abusing the allocation by the federal government.
The caretaker menteri besar also alleged the statements made by Saifuddin were mala fide (made with bad intention) and were politically motivated to damage his reputation, especially in the run-up to Aug 12 elections in six states, in particular Kedah.
Last month, Sanusi’s solicitors had issued a letter of demand to Saifuddin over the statements, and the minister responded through his lawyers by calling on the PAS leader to bring on the legal challenge.