KUALA LUMPUR, March 11 — Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has filed a defamation suit against former Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) Women chief Anina Saadudin for posting several Facebook videos that insinuated the minister had flouted Covid-19 health procedures.
Ismail Sabri filed the suit at the High Court on March 5. He was represented by law firm Messrs Kesavan, according to court documents.
In his statement of claim, the senior minister said Anina had published videos that were mostly unreasonable personal attacks intended to taint his character and image.
“These defamatory statements were posted by the defendant with malicious intent to solely injure the plaintiff’s reputation, image, and character,” the statement said.
“Due to the defamatory posts made by the defendant against the plaintiff, the reputation and image and character of the plaintiff have suffered severe loss and damage incurred.”
Ismail denied all the allegations made in the incriminating postings and is seeking a High Court injunction to compel Anina to delete the videos.
The Umno senior minister is also seeking to prevent her from making further posts about him.
Anina was said to have posted 13 of such videos. One of them, titled Sendiri Buat SOP Sendiri Langgar (You made the SOP… You flout it), shows Ismail mingling with local artistes at a large social gathering.
The video was arguably intended to show Ismail blatantly flouting Covid-19 regulations that had been set by the National Security Council by, among others, being in close proximity with others and risking getting infected.
His supporters later verified that the event in the clip took place in September 2019, four months before the country reported its first few Covid-19 cases.
Ismail demanded that Anina issue a written apology and is also seeking compensation for an unspecified amount of general, exemplary and aggravated damages, among others.
Hearing for the injunction will start this morning before High Court Judge Datuk Seri Mohd Firuz Jaffril.