KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 2 — Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today failed to get the High Court’s permission to obtain certain documents that purportedly support his RM150 million defamation lawsuit against incumbent Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Dr Mahathir had previously filed a discovery application that would compel Anwar to show any evidence supporting the latter’s nepotism and cronyism allegations against the 98-year-old.
Dr Mahathir wanted Anwar to produce documents on an alleged bailout of Konsortium Perkapalan Bhd (KPB) by Petronas and Malaysia International Shipping Corporation (MISC) in 1997.
Judicial Commissioner Zaharah Hussain ruled today that there are no direct allusions or references to the documents requested in Anwar’s amended defence filing, contrary to what was claimed to have happened in the past.
Lawyer Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali, representing Dr Mahathir, confirmed with Malay Mail of today’s civil proceeding outcome when contacted this afternoon.
Rafique explained that to the court, the alleged event — as raised in Anwar’s amended statement of defence – was one that happened a long time ago and there are no direct allusions or references to the documents requested by Dr Mahathir.
Rafique said that Zaharah also ruled that Anwar can and ought to produce the documents to support his defence during the pre-trial case management stage.
She also ordered Dr Mahathir to pay RM2,000 in cost to Anwar, the lawyer said.
The court in Shah Alam, Selangor has also fixed November 3 for further case management for parties to inform of any other interlocutory applications they had or would be filing.
Dr Mahathir filed the RM150 million defamation suit against Anwar in May over claims that the prime minister, during a speech made during the PKR congress in March, said that “a leader of 22 years and 22 months” had enriched his own family during their time in office.
On June 14, Anwar filed his statement of defence, stating he is prepared to prove the allegations’ veracity in court.
The 10th PM had cited multiple alleged bail-outs of companies linked to Dr Mahathir’s children, as well as purported cronyism and nepotism during the plaintiff’s first stint as Malaysia’s fourth prime minister in the 1990s.
Through his subsequent reply, Dr Mahathir countered that Anwar is a pathological liar who has never furnished proof of the wealth allegations.
Dr Mahathir said Anwar’s alleged defamatory statements were intended to dent his image among members of the public as they were viewed and heard by a wide spectrum of people.
He also wants Anwar to extend an unconditional apology and undertake not to repeat the same or similar statements in the future.
In July, Dr Mahathir made a formal application against Anwar to show documents to support his claims of nepotism and cronyism against the latter.