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Muhyiddin secures injunction against Umno's Puad Zarkashi

KUALA LUMPUR (March 1): Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has gone ahead with his threat of legal action against Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Dr Puad Zarkashi for alleged defamation by filing a suit at the High Court today.

The prime minister, through his lawyers Datuk DP Naban, Rosli Dahlan and Louis Liaw, also obtained an injunction against Puad.

The legal team had filed a certificate of urgency for the injunction application be heard quickly, according to papers sighted by theedgemarkets.com.

The ex parte injunction granted by Justice Datuk Mohd Firuz Jaffril refrains Puad or his agents from posting, publishing or repeating the alleged defamatory words which he posted on Facebook titled "There are two levels of quarantine".

The follow-up inter partes injunction application (which requires both sides to be present) will be heard within 14 days.

Muhyiddin in his suit named Puad as the sole defendant, and is seeking general, exemplary and aggravated damages.

The premier is also seeking an apology to be posted on Puad's Facebook and also other news outlets that carried the news.

On Feb 16, Muhyiddin through his lawyers had issued a letter of demand demanding Puad to pay RM10 million in compensation along with a retraction and an apology for posting the article.

Muhyiddin said Puad's posting implied that the premier refused to be quarantined after his official visit to Jakarta and that is the reason the health minister issued a new order via a federal gazette that Cabinet ministers who return from official visits abroad only need to undergo three days of quarantine.

It also meant that Muhyiddin had abused his power as the prime minister to obtain preferential treatment under the law or under the movement control order, the letter mentioned.

Such statements, the premier’s lawyers claimed, seriously injured his integrity, credit, goodwill and reputation and eroded the confidence of the public in him.

“It further caused our client to be brought to public scandal, odium, contempt and disrepute, and significantly prejudiced him,” they added.

Muhyiddin had on Feb 9 issued a statement from the Prime Minister's Office to clarify that he was given an observation and home surveillance order and was fitted with a surveillance bracelet and was observing quarantine at home.

Puad stated last week that he would not apologise for the contents of his Facebook posting.

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