Sanusi sues Saifuddin over REE theft allegations

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor (pic, left) has filed a legal suit against Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution (pic, right) for accusing him of the theft of rare earth elements (REE).

Messrs Faizi and Associates, representing the Kedah Mentri Besar, had filed the suit following a letter of demand (LOD) on July 21 asking Saifuddin to apologise and to issue a letter of undertaking that he will not repeat the statements.

The suit was filed on Tuesday (Aug 7) at the Alor Setar High Court, alleging that Saifuddin had made defamatory statements against Muhammad Sanusi on July 15 at the Jelajah Perpaduan Madani programme in Guar Chempedak, Yan, Kedah while campaigning for Pakatan Harapan.

"The statements by Saifuddin, which were published by media portals, insinuated that the plaintiff (Muhammad Sanusi), among others, is a thief and involved in the theft of the minerals of the state, betrayed the people of Kedah for self-interest and material benefit, was corrupt and had abused his position as the head of the state government," according to the lawsuit.

Saifuddin is also alleged to have made further defamatory statements in a media conference over Muhammad Sanusi’s role in alleged misuse of the Malaysian Records Information System (Marris) state fund allocation intended for road repairs in Kedah.

Muhammad Sanusi is demanding that Saifuddin, who is also Home Minister and PKR secretary-general, make a public apology via mass media, a written undertaking not to repeat the defamatory statements and compensation for damage to reputation.

On July 15, Saifuddin challenged Muhammad Sanusi to clarify if he had received a compound letter amounting to RM500,000 over the alleged theft of rare earth in Kampung Chong, Sik.

Saifuddin claimed that the letter dated Oct 4, 2022, signed by Kedah Lands and Mines director Datuk Mohd Fauzi Mustaffa, was issued to the Kedah Menteri Besar Incorporated (MBI) chairman.

On July 20, a Kedah MBI chief executive officer was remanded by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) together with a woman, a company director, over corruption and abuse of power in a probe over the theft of REE.

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