The suit relates to excerpt on page 3 of Rewcastle-Brown’s book, The Sarawak Report: The Inside Story of the 1MDB Expose.
Haaziq had said the excerpt was defamatory as it alleged that Jho Low was friendly with the sultanah and intended to use her influence to set up TIA.
The Terengganu Royal Council of Regency had on September 14 denied the sultanah’s involvement in government administrative affairs or in the establishment of the TIA, which was later renamed 1MDB.
The council had demanded a rectification and an apology for statement.
27 May 2019
THE Terengganu sultanah hopes to skip a full trial by applying for a court order to determine whether a passage in Clare Rewcastle-Brown’s book, The Sarawak Report: The Inside Story of the 1MDB Exposé, is defamatory.
If successful, the Kuala Lumpur High Court could bypass the trial by issuing a summary judgment deeming Rewcastle-Brown and two others as having no defence to Sultanah Nur Zahirah’s claim.
The sultanah’s lawyer, Mohd Haaziq Pillay Abdullah, said his client filed the application on May 13 under Order 14A of the Rules of Court 2012.
The defence, representing Sarawak Report editor Rewcastle-Brown, publisher Gerakbudaya Enterprise and printer Vinlin Press Sdn Bhd, filed its reply on Friday.
The sultanah is seeking RM300 million in damages from the three defendants, or RM100 million each.
Justice Ahmad Zaidi Ibrahim today set June 17 for case management, after which he told lawyers that he will decide on a later date for the sultanah’s application.
“We are to file our affidavit-in-reply on June 12,” Haaziq told reporters outside the court.
“The matter could be summarily disposed of if the judge makes a ruling as to whether the statement by the defendant is indeed defamatory.”
Judges are granted discretion to dispose of a defamation case on points of law.
“If that happens, her royal highness won’t be required to give evidence. And, the onus falls on the defendants,” said Haaziq.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT
21 November 2018
KUALA LUMPUR: Terengganu’s Sultanah Nur Zahirah has filed a RM300 million defamation lawsuit against Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown, a publisher and a printer over claims made by the investigative journalist in her book on 1MDB that the sultanah was linked to the fund and fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho.
Rewcastle-Brown had claimed that the sultanah was involved in the establishment of 1MDB’s precursor, Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA).
Aside from Rewcastle-Brown, publisher Gerakbudaya Enterprise and printer Vinlin Press have been named in the suit.
29 September 2018
COMPLAINT BY THE SULTANAH OF TERENGGANU
With regard to the complaint by the Sultana of Terengganu, Sarawak Report is happy to clarify that the passage in the book The Sarawak Report does not in any way suggest that the Sultanah was “in a conspiracy” with Jho Low or “involved in government administration in the 1MDB affair’ or that the Sultanah was in any way personally connected with the Terengganu Investment Authority (of which her husband was chairman of the advisory board) let alone 1MDB.
The book does relay information that Jho Low boasted of mixing socially with the royal family and herself and, as with many of his business ventures, cited his social connections as opening doors to opportunities, such as his obtaining an advisory position on the TIA.
We note that the connection between Jho Low and the Terengganu royal family was in fact far closer to the sister of the Sultan, with whom Jho was directly connected in a business sense, and her husband, and on this basis later print runs of the book have have removed the reference to the wife of the sultan and instead refer to the sister of the sultan as being Jho Low’s prime social connection in Terengganu.
However, in neither case does the book suggest impropriety on the part of such contacts of Jho’s and nor do we suggest that Jho’s engagement as an advisor of the fund was in itself a corrupt act. What was corrupt was the later theft of money from 1MDB, which was after the fund had been transferred from the purview of Terengganu altogether and had evolved into 1MDB.
We therefore suggest that offence has been taken for something that was not implied. Furthermore, if the Sultanah says she does not remember meeting Jho we are happy to accept her position on that. Her sister in law most certainly did, but we do not imply either here or in the book that there was impropriety in that relationship either.
We suspect this matter has been deliberately misinterpreted to the Sultanah by people seeking to cause trouble and assure her that a careful reading of the short passage should make it clear there is no allegation made against anyone in the Terengganu royal family regarding the 1MDB affair, which took place after any involvement by the state ceased in that fund. We are sorry if she has been upset by any misinterpretations of our meaning and trust this clarifies the matter.
PETALING JAYA: Lawyers representing Terengganu’s Sultanah Nur Zahirah have given Sarawak Report’s Clare Rewcastle-Brown eight days to apologise over remarks in her book allegedly linking the royalty to fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho and the 1MDB scandal.
Mohd Haaziq Pillay Abdullah, who is leading the team of lawyers, said a letter of demand has been issued to Rewcastle-Brown, together with Gerakbudaya Enterprise, the publisher of the book “The Sarawak Report – The Inside Story of 1MDB Expose” and printer Vinlin Press Sdn Bhd, two days ago.
“Sultanah Nur Zahirah has instructed my team of lawyers and I to initiate legal action against the Sarawak Report founder and editor to protect her integrity and interests, as well as safeguard the good name of the Terengganu royal institution.
“Rewcastle-Brown has eight days from Sept 27 to make a full written, unequivocal public retraction and written apology in terms to be approved by the sultanah’s lawyers.
“She has to give an undertaking to not repeat these statements,” he said, adding that Gerakbudaya and Vinlin also have eight days to do the same.
Haaziq told a press conference here today that the companies concerned also had to withdraw books which contain the offending paragraph from sale and circulation.
He also stated that RM100 million in damages was being sought, and that any award by the court would be donated to charity.
Haaziq further stressed that his legal action was not related to Rewcastle-Brown’s comments on 1MDB, and that it only focuses on page three of the book.
“The sentences are deemed defamatory as the sultanah had never interfered in government affairs; she was never involved with the establishment of the Terengganu Investment Authority and the sovereign wealth fund; and has never supported Low in obtaining the advisory role in the Terengganu Investment Authority.
“Also, the sultanah does not know Low and her knowledge of him is based on media reports,” he said.
Haaziq claimed that Rewcastle-Brown’s remarks bo
THE Terengganu sultanah will proceed with her defamation suit against Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown, despite an apology posted on the whistle-blower site yesterday.
Sultanah Nur Zahirah will file a defamation suit seeking an unspecified amount in damages and an apology over claims she was involved in a conspiracy with billionaire Low Taek Jho and the previous government administration in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal.
Rewcastle-Brown had posted an apology on the Sarawak Report website yesterday in response to a letter of demand sent to her in London.
However, the sultanah did not deem the statement by Rewcastle-Brown to be an “adequate” apology, said her lawyer.
“It does not amount to an apology, at least not by my client’s standards,” Mohd Haaziq Pillay Abdullah told The Malaysian Insight.
“We will still proceed with the suit,” he said, adding that a press conference on the matter would be held tomorrow.
Rewcastle-Brown said in the post on Sarawak Report that she was sorry if the sultanah “has been upset by any misinterpretations of our meaning”.
She added that she did not suggest that the sultanah was “in a conspiracy” with Low, also known as Jho Low, or that the sultanah was in any way connected to the Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA), the precursor to 1MDB.
“We note that the connection between Jho Low and the Terengganu royal family was in fact far closer to the sister of the sultan, with whom Jho was directly connected in a business sense, and her husband.
“On this basis, later print runs of the book have referred to the sister of the sultan rather than the wife of the sultan as being Jho Low’s prime social connection in Terengganu,” wrote Rewcastle-Brown.
18 September 2018
PETALING JAYA: The Sultanah of Terengganu is filing a suit against Clare Rewcastle-Brown over the Sarawak Report editor’s book on the 1MDB scandal.
A statement from her lawyer said the suit by Sultanah Nur Zahirah was over allegations in the book “The Sarawak Report: The Inside Story of the 1MDB Expose”.
“The suit involved allegations of her Royal Highness Sultanah Nur Zahirah’s conspiracy with Low Taek Jho (Jho Low) and her involvement in government administration in the 1MDB affair,” said the statement.
The sultanah had earlier denied being involved in any government administrative affairs, including in the establishment of the Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA), which was the precursor to 1MDB.
In her book, Rewcastle-Brown said Jho Low was “friendly” with Sultanah Nur Zahirah, who is the wife of Terengganu ruler Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin.
She said that the sultanah’s tacit approval was needed to set up the fund, adding that Jho Low had “later cited her support as having been crucial to his obtaining the advisory position”.
On Sept 14, the Terengganu Royal Council of Regency said the claim was irresponsible and urged Rewcastle-Brown to apologise.
But Rewcastle-Brown later told FMT that the sultanah had misunderstood what was written.
“What I said was that Jho boasted of his social connections including her as having given him an entree to her husband who was involved in TIA.
“He boasted the social connections led to him being hired as adviser. It is a fairly tangential issue,” she said.
18 September 2018
PAS are making a loud protest over the mention in the book The Sarawak Report that JL had boasted that socialising with the Terengganu Royal family had assisted in him netting the role of advisor to the Terengganu Investment Authority before it was turned into 1MDB.
They assert it is an insult to suggest that the Sultanah was on the board or involved in the setting up of the TIA (which the book does not).
However, PAS ought to be careful what they say, since the SISTER of the Sultan was a director on the Board of TIA. If the Sultanah claims that it is wrong to suggest she was one of the Terengganu Royals friendly with Jho Low, then the sister of the sulltan clearly was associated since she was also on the board of Loh and Loh Corporation after it was absorbed by UBG which was by then half owned by Jho Low.
Moreover, it was Dato Aziz Akhir, the Tengku Rahimah’s husband who was the other official advisor, together with Jho Low, to the board of TIA. He had been involved for some time in business with Jho Low.
There is no question that The Sultan of Terengganu himself held an important position as Chairman of the advisory board of TIA and he was publicised as being the first person to suggest the setting up of the fund to the Menteri Besar of the state.
The Sarawak Report made no suggestion of any impropriety on the part of any of the Terengganu royal family, either for socialising and doing business with Jho Low at that time or for being extremely involved in TIA, which they were.
PAS, on the other hand, has now issued various statements suggesting they believe there would have been some impropriety for the royal family to have been involved. They ought to think before they denounce.
– Sarawak Report
14 September 2018
‘Terengganu sultanah was never involved in TIA’
The Terengganu Royal Council of Regency said the statement in the book entitled “The Sarawak Report: The Inside Story of the 1MDB Expose” which linked the Terengganu sultanah with the issue was not true at all.
The council vehemently denied the statement on the third page of the book which reads: “Jho was also friendly with a key player in Terengganu, the wife of the Sultan, whose acquiescence was needed to set up the fund and he later cited her support as having been crucial to his obtaining the advisory position.”
KUALA LUMPUR: The Sultanah of Terengganu, Sultanah Nur Zahirah, has never been directly or indirectly involved in any government administrative affairs and in particular the establishment of the Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA).
Terengganu Royal Council of Regency said the statement in the book, entitled “The Sarawak Report: The Inside Story of the 1MDB Expose”, which linked the Terengganu Sultanah with the issue, was not true at all.
The council vehemently denies the statement in the third page of the book, which reads: “Jho was also friendly with a key player in Terengganu, the wife of the sultan, whose acquiescence was needed to set up the fund and he later cited her support as having been crucial to his obtaining the advisory position.”
“The sultanah has never at any time known or has any relationship with the ‘Jho’ mentioned in the book,” it said in a statement today.
Therefore, it said the writer of the book should take appropriate measures to rectify the fact and apologise to the Terengganu sultanah for making the irresponsible statement.