Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor today made good on his promise to sue Saifuddin Nasution for defamation over remarks by the PKR secretary-general accusing him of being involved in the theft of rare earth elements (REE) in Kedah as well as misusing allocations.
In the suit filed today by his lawyers, Sanusi cited two instances of Saifuddin making the defamatory remarks on July 14 and 15.
Sanusi is demanding a public apology to be published in several major media outlets, with the condition that the wording of the apology be approved by him.
Among the wordings Sanusi said must be included is an admission by Saifuddin that his accusations were politically motivated and designed to destroy his reputation, as well as affirming that the Kedah menteri besar was a person of "noble character, professional, and has managed the state of Kedah with excellence".
Sanusi is also demanding Saifuddin ensure all videos of speeches and press conferences containing the defamatory remarks are removed within 48 hours of the court's decision, with a clear undertaking that he will not repeat the accusations in any form, including for the purpose of satire, analogy, or sarcasm.
In his demand, Sanusi left it to the court to decide on monetary compensation.
Saifuddin, the home minister at the forefront of Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional's campaign to topple Sanusi's administration in Kedah at the coming polls, has repeatedly accused Sanusi of involvement in the theft of REE at a forest reserve.
Sanusi has since rejected the accusation, with the state's land and mines director-general also denying that the case had anything to do with the menteri besar.
Saifuddin also accused Sanusi of misappropriating funds for the Malaysian Road Records Information System, or Marris, adding that the state administration was rife with problems of governance and low revenue.
"The revenue collection is low because he plays politics; he does not administer the state," Saifuddin said.