A woman from Penang is seeking to take legal action against three parties over claims of harassment, breach of privacy, and cyberbullying
The woman, Hanini Siron — better known as Nini Siron — had in June this year exposed Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor for going on a test drive at a vehicle sales centre in Juru Autocity, Penang, in violation of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) amidst the "total lockdown" in place at the time.
After initially denying and trying to "explain" the situation, Sanusi was eventually slapped with an undisclosed amount of compound in July by the Penang police under Section 269 of the Penal Code and Regulation 17 (1) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 2021.
However, by the time, Sanusi's online supporters — that included religious teachers to those with political links — had already attacked Nini and her family for daring to expose the Kedah MB's actions.
Nini shared that when she reported the incident to the police she was only doing her duty as a citizen after seeing someone in a place of authority and power acting in breach of COVID-19 rules.
Among those who accused her of playing political games and threatened her included PAS mouthpiece HarakahDaily, Sanusi's political secretary Afnan Hamimi Taib Azamudden, and Mohamad Solhi Mohd Sharif.
All three parties now have been served with letters of demand by Nini's lawyer Faizal Rahman, who said that the letters were sent to the PAS mouthpiece, Sanusi's aide, and the other individual on 13 August.
Nini and her family were insulted and ridiculed by Sanusi's supporters.
She also suffered a loss of income that ran into the thousands.
While speaking to Malay Mail back in June, Nini shared that her husband, her children, and her relatives were snapped at and that the amount of pressure she felt was overwhelming.
"This is probably the first time in my life I've felt this way," she told the news portal.
According to women's advocacy group Sisters In Islam (SIS), the online attacks on Nini involved the circulation of personal details and photos of her husband, her son, and her sister.
"She also received hate messages and threats on her Facebook personal account and her husband's business page, forcing her husband to deactivate the business page after his mobile number and pictures of his customers were circulated," SIS said in a statement issued at the time.
A report by Free Malaysia Today stated that the Facebook page was the family's lifeline amidst the various Movement Control Orders (MCOs) that have been in place since March 2020.
Now, Nini wants them to apologise and pay her RM1 million each in damages for humiliation, disrepute, and emotional distress among others
According to her lawyer, Nini's demand for RM3 million in compensation also includes acts of cyberbullying and invasion of personal data and privacy that she suffered due to the three parties' actions.
In addition, the PAS mouthpiece, Sanusi's aide, and the other individual are also required to stop making further statements about his client and delete all offensive comments from social media platforms.
However, there has been no response from their side so far.
Sanusi's aide Afnan claims that he has yet to receive the letter of demand from Nini.
"Perhaps the postal service delayed the letter due to pandemic factors. Nevertheless, we have also advised our client to issue a press release over the matter," The Vibes quoted the lawyer as saying.
In a Facebook post on her personal account yesterday, 18 August, Nini also called for them to issue a public apology on social media
She said that their defamatory statements have caused her to be bombarded with negative comments, harsh criticism, hatred, sexual harassment, and threats from strangers.
If the parties fail to meet the terms of her demand, she will not hesitate to pursue any legal action to improve and protect the interests and reputation of her and her family, her Facebook post read.
Additionally, the Kedah MB's actions have led to a retired Malaysian Armed Forces personnel taking legal action against the Kuala Muda police chief: