Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil has filed defamation suits against prominent political commentator Wan Muhammad Azri Wan Deris, better known as Papagomo, as well as two other individuals over claims surrounding a speech he delivered at a mosque in Rawang, Selangor.
The other two defendants are Muslim preacher Ahmad Dusuki Abd Rani and the owner of the Facebook account "N13 Kuang", Mohd Fauzan Madzlan.
The suits were filed on Sept 5 at the High Court.
In his statement of claim, Fahmi said the trio had published defamatory words by accusing him of abusing the mosque for the state election campaign in violation of the Selangor sultan's decree.
He said the claim was baseless, citing the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais), which said he did not give any political speech.
Fahmi said his demand for the trio to apologise as well as pay damages was not heeded and that they did not remove the allegedly slanderous statements from their social media pages.
He is seeking general damages, aggravated or exemplary damages, and an injunction to prevent the defendants from repeating their statements.
Under current rules, only individuals authorised by Mais are allowed to deliver speeches, lectures, sermons, or teachings in mosques and suraus in Selangor.
But Mais chairman Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof recently said investigations had found that Fahmi had not touched politics when speaking at the mosque in July.
Instead, he said the Pakatan Harapan communications director had only talked about current issues.
"He did not mention politics in the mosque; in my view, (this issue) is settled. He came to pray; he looked for a nearby mosque and surau. As a minister, he should provide clear answers to the questions asked by the congregants," Aziz said.