KUALA LUMPUR, March 12 — Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today obtained a court order to restrain UMNO Supreme Council member Datuk Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi from republishing allegedly defamatory statements over quarantine order involving the prime minister on his (Mohd Puad) Facebook page.
High Court Judge Datuk Seri Mohd Firuz Jaffril granted an ad interim injunction application sought by Muhyiddin pending the hearing of an inter-parte injunction on May 24.
Ad interim injunction serves to temporarily protect the plaintiff filing the suit by maintaining the status quo.
On March 1, Muhyiddin obtained an ex-parte interim injunction order from the court to restrain Mohd Puad from making any statements pending disposal of the inter-parte hearing which was scheduled today.
Muhyiddin’s counsel Rosli Dahlan when met by reporters after the proceedings, said the judge granted the (ad interim injunction) application with the same terms of the ex-parte interim injunction order (on March 1).
“That means the defendant (Mohd Puad) cannot make any statements or any remarks until the disposal of the inter-parte hearing. The ex-parte order will last in 21 days, which is on March 21 and after March 21, it will be called ad interim injunction,” the lawyer said.
Meanwhile, Shahrul Fazli Kamaruzaman who acted for Mohd Puad said the court fixed the same day (May 24) to hear his client’s application to set aside the interim injunction order.
In his ex-parte application, Muhyiddin applied for an interim injunction order to restrain Mohd Puad, or his agent, representative or anyone from re-publishing, re-posting and re-sharing the allegedly defamatory statements on his (Mohd Puad’s) Facebook page.
Muhyiddin filed the application on grounds that the statements by Mohd Puad are false, defamatory and had tarnished the reputation and the good name of the prime minister locally and internationally.
Muhyiddin said the ex-parte application was needed because if a notice was served to the defendant, there would be a risk that the defendant would sensationalise the application which would result in his readers sharing the post.
The ex-parte application was filed together with his writ of summons against Mohd Puad, in which he claimed that Mohd Puad had, on Feb 9, published a post on his Facebook page under the name of “DrPuad Zarkashi” with the title “Kuarantin pun ada dua darjat?”.
Muhyiddin claimed that the post could be accessed by Internet users across the world and had received 1,200 reactions, 215 comments and 182 shares.
He claimed that the post referred to “PM” which is an abbreviation for the Prime Minister and that the post contained untrue, unwarranted, unsubstantiated and mischievous remarks against him and have defamed him.
Muhyiddin contended that the statements implied that he and his entourage had refused to undergo quarantine for 10 days upon their return from their official trip to Jakarta, Indonesia.