Court orders Mahfuz to pay Sanusi RM250,000 in damages for defamation

ALOR SETAR – The Alor Setar High Court here today ruled that Parti Amanah Negara vice-president Datuk Mahfuz Omar (picture) must pay Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor RM250,000 in damages for a defamation suit filed in 2020.

The lawsuit revolves around a Facebook post by Mahfuz on Oct 17, 2020, where he alleged that Muhammad Sanusi was linked to the personal purchase of a Toyota Vellfire luxury vehicle, purportedly acquired with funds from Syarikat Air Darul Aman (SADA).

Judge Dr. Arik Sanusi Yeop awarded Sanusi RM200,000 in general damages and RM50,000 in punitive damages, as well as RM30,000 in legal costs.

“All the allegations by the defendant that the plaintiff purchased a Toyota Vellfire vehicle for personal use are defamatory and malicious against the Kedah Menteri Besar,” he said in his judgment.

Arik also ordered Mahfuz to issue a public apology in a Bahasa Malaysia and an English daily within 14 days of the verdict, and on Mahfuz’s Facebook account, subject to Sanusi’s terms.

The judge also ordered Mahfuz to delete his Facebook post and video uploaded on Oct 17, 2020, and prohibited all other parties from uploading or publishing similar statements or content on the same matter.

Muhammad Sanusi was represented by lawyers Yusfarizal Yussoff, Wan Rohimi Wan Daud, Mohd Faizi Che Abu, and Adam Luqman Hamdan, while Mahfuz was represented by lawyers Muhammad Faiz Fadzil and Faizal Abdullah. – BERNAMA / pic TMR FILE