KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court today fixed three days, from July 29 to 31, to hear the defamation suit filed by Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok Suh Sim against Pertubuhan Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM) president Datuk Azwanddin Hamzah.
Kok’s lawyer, K. Murali, told reporters the dates were fixed by judicial commissioner Rohani Ismail in chambers.
She also set May 24 for further case management, he added.
Kok filed the suit last Jan 8 and named Azwanddin in his personal capacity as the first defendant and as JMM president, as second defendant.
In her statement of claim, Kok said that on Dec 25 last year, at a rally held at Dataran Seni Klang, Selangor, Azwanddin as the president of JMM had made a speech which among others, contained defamatory words and lies about her.
The plaintiff claimed that the speech was carried by online media portals, both locally and internationally.
She contended that the speech in their ordinary and natural meaning were understood to mean, among others, that she was a racist, had abused her power as a minister and acted unfairly, as well as was a dishonest minister, with no ethics and had no principles.
Kok claimed that the speech was untrue, malicious, deliberate and made without due regard to the truth of the matter and was seriously prejudicial to her reputation.
She further claimed that the defendant had caused the publication of the speech with the intention and motive of defaming her in her personal and official capacity , was mala fide and with malicious intent.
The minister contended that the speech was published with the purpose of inciting the public and to create ill-will towards her and was conveyed irresponsibly to the public for cheap publicity, to create chaos and possible physical and other harm to her.
As a result of the doings by the defendants, Kok said it had caused her distress, anxiety and embarrassment.
Kok said she had on Dec 26 and 31, 2018, sent a letter of demand through her solicitor demanding the defendants to retract, apologise and pay damages to her, but it was ignored by the defendants.
She is seeking general, aggravated and exemplary damages, as well as an injunction to restrain the defendants either through agents and/or any other persons from further uttering, writing or publishing the same speech, and also costs. — Bernama