Want in on some legal drama?
Instead of Suits or Extraordinary Attorney Woo, our neighbour across the causeway has Anwar and Muhyiddin.
Malaysia’s current prime minister just sued his predecessor for defamation. Here’s what you need to know.
Anwar Ibrahim Officially Suing Muhyiddin Yassin For Defamation
Malaysia’s prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim, is suing the ex-PM, Muhyiddin Yassin, over what Mr Muhyiddin said during an election speech at Taman Selasih in Kulim, Kedah in support of Perikatan Nasional (PN) candidate Azman Nasrudin.
The election speech had occurred on 5 Dec, where Mr Muhyiddin, the chairman of PN, spoke to the crowds at Kulim.
In doing so, he became a TikTok star overnight.
Excerpts of Mr Muhyiddin’s speech were republished on TikTok by a TikTok user under the name “@beritakini8”.
While it wasn’t a thirst trap edit, it still garnered millions of views. As of 7 Dec, the video garnered more than 1.1 million views, 6,061 comments, more than 21,400 likes, over 1,360 favourites and 2,169 shares.
Suffice it to say, if Mr Muhyiddin ever leaves politics, he definitely would have a shot at making it big as a TikTok influencer.
Mr Muhyiddin also republished the entire speech on his own Facebook account, which is still accessible now.
However, we will only recommend watching the entire speech if you have spare time.
The video republished on the PN chairman’s Facebook account has racked up more than 42,000 views, 506 comments, over 2,800 reactions and 48 shares as of Tuesday (20 Dec), the date Mr Anwar’s suit was filed.
Muhyiddin Alleging That Anwar Was Paid RM15 Million As Selangor’s Economic Adviser
So, what exactly did Mr Muhyiddin say about the Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman that caused netizens to go crazy for it?
In the election speech, Mr Muhyiddin alleged that Mr Anwar was paid RM15 million (S$4.6 million) while he was Selangor’s economic adviser.
According to Mr Anwar, Mr Muhyiddin’s words were slanderous. They were apparently meant to imply the Malaysian PM was untrustworthy and dishonest about accepting millions of ringgit from the Selangor state government as its economic advisor. Mr Anwar also claimed that Mr Muhyiddin’s words painted Mr Anwar as unethical, unprincipled, corrupt, hypocritical and not a good Muslim.
Well, it does sound like defamation when you put it that way. Whether it actually is, we’ll see in time to come.
Mr Anwar is represented by Messrs SN Nair and Partners, who had sent Mr Muhyiddin a letter of demand on 7 Dec demanding for the PN chairman to apologise and retract his allegations.
Clearly, the letter of demand didn’t work.
Mr Anwar is now seeking damages and an injunction, so Mr Muhyiddin is restrained from repeating the words. Essentially, he’s seeking two things: money and for the PN chairman to shush.
Anwar’s Salary as Selangor’s Economic Advisor Apparently A Symbolic RM1
According to Mr Anwar, Mr Muhyiddin’s claims, however, appear to be different from what was said in the Selangor state legislative assembly a decade ago.
Apparently, in 2012, the Selangor Mentri Besar at the time had said at the state assembly that Mr Anwar’s salary as Selangor’s economic adviser was merely a symbolic RM1.
Juwairiya Zulkifli, the political secretary to the Selangor Mentri Besar, also shared in a statement on Facebook that Mr Anwar did not receive any additional payments apart from the RM1 salary.
She added: “I believe on the behalf of the Prime Minister it is reasonable to take further action to prevent the repetition of this slander from continuing to be hijacked by those who are bankrupt of morals and ethics in politics.”
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