Tuan Ibrahim sues Rafizi for defamation over flood mitigation project

ENVIRONMENT and Water Minister Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man (picture) has filed a suit against PKR deputy president Mohd Rafizi Ramli for allegedly defaming him regarding the approval of several projects, including on flood mitigation.

Tuan Ibrahim, 62, filed the suit through Yusfarizal Aziz & Zaid at the High Court here yesterday, naming Rafizi, 45, as the sole defendant.

In his statement of claim, Tuan Ibrahim alleged that Rafizi made defamatory statements against him at two press conferences at the PKR headquarters in Petaling Jaya, which were streamed live on the defendant’s YouTube account, on Nov 7 and 9.

The PAS deputy president claimed that the statements implied that during the time of the caretaker government, discussions and efforts involving the plaintiff were actively conducted to approve projects worth RM2 billion to Mangkubumi Sdn Bhd through direct negotiations for the Sungai Langat flood mitigation project.

The plaintiff claimed that Rafizi’s remarks implied that he approved two sewage treatment plant and sewerage pipe network projects in Papan, Kinta district in Perak, and one project for building a sewerage pipe network in Petaling Jaya to Mangkubumi, all worth more than RM2.3 billion, apart from conspiring with then Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to secretly award projects under the ‘Program Jana Wibawa’.

The plaintiff claimed that the statements were false and made with malicious intent by twisting facts to give the impression that he was dishonest and untrustworthy and had exceeded his power as a caretaker minister.

Tuan Ibrahim said the statements created a bad perception of him as a political leader who always practised Islamic principles in his administration and caused him to be criticised by netizens on social media where he could not reply or clarify.

Tuan Ibrahim wants the defendant to make a public apology in local Malay and English newspapers, on the defendant’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as well as the PKR website, within 14 days from the date of judgment, apart from retracting or deleting all related media statements on the same social media within 48 hours from the date of judgment.

The plaintiff has also applied for an injunction to restrain the defendant, his agents or assistants from broadcasting and publishing any similar statements and videos, whether directly or indirectly, apart from claiming for general, exemplary and aggravated damages.

Tuan Ibrahim’s lawyer Yusfarizal Yussoff, when contacted by Bernama, confirmed that the suit had been filed. — BERNAMA