Lawyer withdraws from case, hearing of Dzulkefly's suit against Najib postponed

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court postponed the hearing of a lawsuit filed by Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad against Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak regarding a post about cronyism on his Facebook account after the Health Minister’s lawyer withdrew from representing him.

Judicial Commissioner Arziah Mohamed Apandi allowed the application by lawyer Datuk SN Nair on Tuesday (June 4) and fixed March 5, 6, and 7, 2025 to hear the case.

“The court also set July 10 for case management and vacated the trial dates from today until June 6 (Thursday),” she said during the proceedings, which were also attended by Najib’s lawyer, Muhammad Farhan Muhammad Shafee.

In Jan 2022, Dzulkefly, who was former Health Minister, filed the lawsuit in his personal capacity, alleging that Najib had uploaded a slanderous posting on his Facebook page on Aug 24, 2020, on cronyism. The lawsuit also attached a Sinar Harian article dated Jan 28, 2019, with a picture of the plaintiff’s face.

He claimed the statement, among other things, meant the plaintiff practises cronyism by offering posts and appointments to relatives without any objective evaluation of their capability for posts in government and private companies.

The plaintiff alleged that Najib had produced a slanderous posting with the intention of attacking him personally, tarnishing his reputation, and shaming him. The posting was also claimed to be politically motivated and intended to mar his image.

As such, the plaintiff applied for an injunction order to restrain the defendant or his agents from continuing to publish or disseminate the post in any way and an order for the defendant to make a written apology published on his Facebook page and in a local newspaper of his choice within seven days from the date of the order apart from seeking general, aggravated, exemplary damages and any other relief deemed fit by the court.

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