IPOH, Feb 9 ― Perak PAS Commissioner Razman Zakaria apologised to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today for accusing the latter in the 15th general election campaign of supporting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and being a communist.
The Gunung Semanggol assemblyman made the apology in an open court before Judicial Commissioner Puan Noor Rowena Md Nurdin during the defamation suit hearing at the High Court in Taiping earlier.
“I would like to refer to my defamatory utterances in one of my speeches during the 15th general election campaign on November 19, 2022 which has offended your feelings and is defamatory of you.
“I wish to state that my utterances have impinged directly on your moral turpitude and good reputation and caused you considerable and immeasurable embarrassment, damage and distress. I express my sincere regret and profuse apology for having made the said utterances,” he said.
Razman also stressed that he would never repeat such defamation speech of any form or manner in the future against Anwar.
“I forthwith beseech you, YAB to withdraw your claim at Taiping High Court Civil Suit No. AB- 23CY-1-12/2022 against me and I will forthwith seek the indulgence of the Court to strike out and expunge my Statement of Defense dated 30.1.2023 from the Court records.
“I pray that God will bless Anwar and give you strength and longevity to continue to lead the nation as the prime minister of Malaysia. for the sake of the well-being of the people and the nation,” his statement read.
Anwar subsequently withdrew his suit.
The court documents were made available to Malay Mail.
On December 5, Anwar filed the lawsuit naming the Gunung Semanggol assemblyman as the sole defendant.
Based on the statement of claim, Anwar said on November 6 last year, the defendant spoke about the matter during the campaign at the Tebuk Pancur night market.
He claimed the speech was broadcast live on Razman’s Facebook under the user name “Haji Razman Zakaria” and was viewed over 94,400 times, received over 5,100 reactions, 429 shares and over 2,600 comments till today.
According to the PKR president, the live video broadcast was later published through an article dated November 6, 2022, in Malay and English and uploaded on a news portal.
The Tambun MP said the defamatory statements were made to ruin his reputation, adding that the allegations in the article were untrue as he had always championed Islamic teachings and values.
He also claimed that the defendant made the defamatory words to sully his good name by inciting the public and creating hatred towards him and the party during the GE15 campaign period.
The defendant had also violated Section 4A of the Election Offences Act 1954 and failed to apologise to him over his actions, Anwar said.
Subsequently, the Taiping High Court has ordered Razman to file his statement of defence on the defamation suit filed by Anwar by January 31.
Anwar is seeking general, compensatory, aggravated and exemplary damages and an injunction to stop the defendant or his agents from repeating or causing the publication of the slanderous article in addition to claiming costs, interest and other appropriate relief.