Nurul Izzah (right), who was present with her lawyer and PAS supreme council member Mohd Hanipa Maidin, claimed that Utusan Malaysia had twisted her words with regards to freedom of religion and that subsequent reports carried by the daily were also defamatory to her.
She is seeking an apology from the daily, an injunction preventing the defendants from publishing the alleged defamatory statements, as well as general, exemplary and aggravated damages and also cost of the legal action.
Also present was PKR disciplinary committee chairperson Dr Tan Kee Kwong.
'Utusan known for sensationaling reports'
In her statement of claim, Nurul Izzah claimed that three articles reported in the daily between Nov 5 and 7 were defamatory to her in its natural and ordinary meaning, or with innuendo.
She claimed the reports meant that she supported and encouraged Malays apostatising from Islam, or not practising Islam and that Malays are allowed to choose their own religion other than Islam.
Such depictions, Nurul Izzah claimed, represented that she was a hypocrite politician and MP, and could not be trusted.
The Lembah Pantai MP claimed the articles had put her in bad light and portrayed her as one who did not love the Malays and Islam and wanted to pawn the religion and race.
The articles also meant that she did not believe in the Islamic religion and supported religious pluralist understanding and seems to promote it.
Nurul Izzah further claimed that Utusan Malaysia, as an Umno-owned paper, published such articles for it to be used as a political tool to affect her credibility, integrity and dignity as a senior member of Umno's rival, PKR.
“The defendants had sensationalised the report, which is mainly read by Malay and Muslims, so that Umno receives political mileage and this would influence Malays and Muslims in the country,” she claimed in her statement.
She stressed that Utusan Malaysia is well known for sensationalising news to create hatred and animosity among religions and this is directed to improve their sales.
Hence, she is applying for the aggravated and exemplary damages as a result of these.
Letter sent to Selangor Sultan
Nurul Izzah, when met, said she is prepared to meet the Selangor Sultan to explain the situation over the misconceived reports in the daily.
“They (Utusan) have twisted what I said and (I) am forced to file the suit,” she said.
Mohd Hanipa (right) said although he is from PAS, they are in unison in supporting Nurul Izzah in the matter as the issue had been twisted.
“As a lawyer, I can represent anyone. But as this happened to a Pakatan leader, we (PAS) are supporting her actions as her statement had been twisted,” he said.
Mohd Hanipa said the main counsel for the case is senior lawyer Sulaiman Abdullah, who is also a practising Syariah lawyer.
The added, however, they have yet to obtain a case management date or know which court the matter will be fixed, and hopes to obtain these in the coming days.