PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has deferred its decision on National Feedlot Corporation Sdn Bhd (NFCorp) and its executive chairman Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail’s appeal in a defamation suit they filed against Nurul Izzah Anwar and PKR.
The appeal was heard for about two hours via Zoom today before a three-member bench comprising Datuk Seri Mohd Zawawi Salleh, Datuk Hasnah Mohammed Hashim and Datuk Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal deferred the ruling to a date to be fixed.
This was confirmed by Nurul Izzah’s counsel Razlan Hadri Zulkifli when contacted.
Lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah represented NFCorp and Mohamad Salleh.
NFCorp and Mohamad Salleh obtained leave to proceed with their appeal to the Federal Court on March 8, 2018 with two legal questions for the court’s determination.
The suit was filed on Dec 24, 2013 by NFCorp and Mohamad Salleh against Nurul Izzah, who was then the Lembah Pantai Member of Parliament (MP) and PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail in relation to a statement over allegations concerning the purchase of eight units of properties at KL Eco City.
They claimed that Nurul Izzah, who is now Permatang Pauh MP, had made a slanderous statement on Malaysiakini TV on March 7, 2012.
On March 4, 2016, the High Court in Kuala Lumpur dismissed their lawsuit after ruling that the statement, when read as a whole, was not defamatory to NFCorp and Mohamad Salleh.
NFCorp and Mohamad Salleh also lost their appeal at the appellate court on July 10, 2017.
In today’s proceedings, Muhammad Shafee urged the court to allow the appeal, contending that the Court of Appeal failed to comprehend that there were more than one sting found in the entire impugned statement which was defamatory of the appellants (NFCorp and Mohamad Salleh).
Muhammad Shafee said the three-man panel of the Court of Appeal had misconstrued in analysing and deciding that only some of the stings of the defamatory statement were relevant to the appellants.
Razlan Hadri countered saying it was a well-settled principle of law that in deciding whether a defendant had defamed a plaintiff, the court must look into the entire statement as a whole and not just focus on the part of the statement which the plaintiff contended to be defamatory of him.
He said the appellants’ appeal should be dismissed as both the High Court and Court of Appeal had arrived at the finding of fact that the impugned statement, read within the context of the entire article, did not defame the appellants. — Bernama