KUALA LUMPUR, March 7 — Federal opposition lawmaker Tony Pua said today he will meet Datuk Seri Najib Razak in court after the prime minister filed a defamation lawsuit against the DAP man’s remarks tying him directly to the 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) controversy.
The DAP national publicity secretary confirmed his lawyer, Gobind Singh Deo, had received the court notice served by Najib’s lawyers yesterday afternoon.
“I would like to declare here that I will contest the suit by the Prime Minister,” Pua said in a short statement.
He also claimed the suit was filed as a “strategy to silence” him and other government critics.
The Petaling Jaya Utara MP said he “will certainly not be shackled by the suit” but would instead continue to investigate and raise questions surrounding the state investment fund’s projects.
In a surprise move yesterday, the prime minister took to his Facebook page and explained that he was suing Pua because of the negative public perception against him and his family that could arise from “lies”.
“We cannot allow lies and slander to continue,” Najib wrote.
Najib is reportedly seeking an apology, a retraction of the statement and compensation in his suit against Pua.
It is understood that the suit is a follow-up to an earlier letter of demand Najib had issued to Pua, in which the prime minister claimed that the DAP publicity chief had implied that the former was an incompetent, corrupt and “tyrannical and oppressive autocratic”.
Pua’s speech at a party fundraising dinner on November 3 last year was caught on video and uploaded online under the title “Tony Pua: Najib is creating the biggest scandal ever in the history of Malaysia”.
Najib is also suing Mediarakyat.net owner Chan Chee Kong, for uploading Pua’s video on the internet.