KUALA LUMPUR (July 14): Housing and Local Government minister Zuraida Kamarudin (pictured) has filed an application to strike out a defamation suit against her by former Cabinet member and PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

Saifuddin had filed the suit in July last year over a statement by Zuraida that alleged he practised corruption.

Zuraida had purportedly on Dec 8, 2019, during a Shared Prosperity Vision (SPV) 2030 dinner at a hotel, accused Saifuddin of making money from a foundation in Kelantan, when he was Machang Member of Parliament.

“The impugned words must be read in light of the then power struggle between PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his former deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali. Zuraida was known as a vociferous supporter of Azmin, while I am Anwar’s supporter,” he said in his suit.

Saifuddin claimed the statement by Zuraida, who is also Ampang MP, was uploaded to a Facebook page called “Friends of Azmin Ali”, and was subsequently shared on her own Facebook page.

As such, he is seeking from Zuraida, general, aggravated and exemplary damages to be assessed by the court, as well as an injunction order to restrain her from making or repeating further derogatory statements.

Saifuddin's lawyer William Leong, who is also Selayang MP, told theedgemarkets.com that parties were ordered  to file their submissions regarding Zuraida's striking out application, during case management before High Court Justice Datuk Rozana Ali Yusoff.

Leong said the court had fixed July 26 for hearing of the application but is uncertain whether it could proceed due to the current lockdown.

“We are waiting for confirmation whether it will proceed,” the lawyer said.

Besides this defamation suit, Saifuddin had also filed another RM10 million suit against Zuraida in his capacity as PKR secretary-general, after the Ampang MP had defected from PKR, along with Azmin – who is currently Gombak MP – and eight other MPs, leading to the fall of the Pakatan Harapan government in February last year.

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