PKR president Anwar Ibrahim’s political secretary Farhash Wafa Salvador Rizal Mubarak last Friday filed a defamation suit against Anwar’s former research assistant Muhammad Yusoff Rawther.

The Writ of Summons was filed by Farhash, through legal firm Messrs Kumar Thangaraj & Co at the High Court Registry in Kuala Lumpur in relation to Yusoff having allegedly uttered defamatory words during a press conference on Dec 4 last year.

On Dec 13 last year, it was reported that Farhash, who is also a PKR central committee member and the party’s Perak state chief, instructed his lawyer to initiate legal action against Yusoff.

During the Dec 4 press conference, Yusoff, 26, not only claimed that he was a victim of indecent exposure, molest and a lewd proposal by Port Dickson MP Anwar, 72, but also that the police purportedly did not take action over his (Yusoff) police report accusing Farhash of assault him at Anwar’s office in Petaling Jaya in May last year.

The video recording of the press conference by Yusoff was also uploaded to a Facebook account titled “Solidariti Buat Muhammed Yusoff Rawter” (Solidarity For Muhammed Yusoff Rawther).

Yusoff has been said to be Anwar’s research assistant from late 2018 until last year.

According to a copy of the Statement of Claim sighted by Malaysiakini today, Farhash claimed that Yusoff had, without just cause or excuse, maliciously published the defamatory words with knowledge and intent for the words to be carried by local media, as well as for the related video recording be uploaded to FB and other social media platforms.

Farhash, 37, claimed that Yusoff (above) uttered the impugned defamatory words in six parts.

“All six detrimental (memudaratkan) impugned words were published with malicious intent by the defendant to jeopardise the plaintiff’s image and reputation as a politician in Parti Keadilan Rakyat among the public,” Farhash said.

The plaintiff claimed that all six impugned words on a whole painted him as a person who among others is violent (ganas), having acted wildly (bertindak liar), not possessing decorum while in an office, a bully (kaki pukul), uncivilised (tidak beradab), immoral, a criminal, a person on whom the police or the authorities can act against for criminal wrongdoing, disreputable and cruel.

Farhash alleged that his lawyers had, on Dec 30, sent a Letter of Demand to Yusoff to seek, among others, that the defendant retracts the defamatory words and issues an apology over it.

However, Farhash claimed that on Dec 31, Yusoff had, through law firm Messrs Hanif Khatri, denied the plaintiff’s claim contained in the Letter of Demand, and refused to abide by the demands until now.

General, aggravated and exemplary damages sought

According to a copy of the Writ of Summons, Farhash is seeking an injunction to prevent Yusoff from further publishing and/or continuing to publish the defamatory words against the former (Farhash).

The plaintiff is also seeking general, aggravated and exemplary damages from the defendant.

Farhash is also seeking cost, annual interest of five percent for damages from the date of filing to date of full completion and any other relief deemed fit by the court.

According to checks on an online cause list at ecourtservices.kehakiman.gov.my, the suit is listed for case management before the High Court Registry in Kuala Lumpur at 9am on Tuesday (Jan 28).

On Jan 14 this year, the Attorney-General’s Chambers announced that no charges would be levelled against Anwar due to lack of evidence.

Three days later, on Jan 17, Anwar’s lawyer Ramkarpal Singh was reported as saying that a defamation suit would be filed against Yusoff.

Prior to the Dec 4 press conference, Yusoff had filed separate legal actions against Farhash and Anwar’s press secretary Tunku Nashrul Tunku Abaidah at the Shah Alam Sessions Court.

The suits are linked to the alleged assault by Farhash against Yusoff at Anwar’s office in Bukit Gasing on May 16 last year.