4 July 2019
Transport Minister Anthony Loke and Damansara MP Tony Pua are suing Pasir Salak MP Tajuddin Abdul Rahman over his allegation that DAP sought to do away with Malaysia’s monarchy system.
According to court papers obtained by Malaysiakini, their writ of summons was filed by legal firm Messrs Ezzah & Associates at the Kuala Lumpur High Court Registry on March 21.
Loke and Pua, who are DAP national organising secretary and national publicity secretary respectively, are suing the Umno supreme council member over his speech at Kampung Jawa on the eve of the Sungai Kandis by-election on Aug 3 last year.
Pakatan Harapan’s Mohd Zawawi Ahmad Mughni secured victory with 5,842-majority over BN’s Lokman Noor Adam in the by-election on Aug 4, 2018.
Tajuddin was alleged to have accused Loke and Pua of being Christians who with other purported fellow adherents in DAP had allegedly sought to not only spread the faith but also abolish Malaysia’s monarchy system.
Tajuddin was claimed to have said that they (the DAP duo) had sought to establish a system of government like Singapore where there would be neither king or sultan.
Among other purported defamatory claims, he was further alleged to have said that they wanted a republic where the head of Malaysia could be anyone.
The defendant’s statements were purportedly carried in a Malaysiakini article headlined ‘Tajuddin fires ‘Christian DAP’ salvo to close BN’s Sg Kandis campaign’ which was uploaded by the news portal on the same night as the speech.
In their statement of claim, Loke and Pua denied that they were Christians and labelled Tajuddin’s statements as having depicted them as not carrying out their duties as minister and parliamentarians and instead allegedly using their positions to champion a personal political agenda.
Both plaintiffs claimed that the defendant’s speech had malicious intent to jeopardise their reputation in the realm of politics, in light of the speech being made to the public during the by-election campaign.
Loke and Pua also alleged that the words uttered by Tajuddin had tarnished the plaintiffs’ standing among the public and caused the duo to be insulted and hated by members of the public, especially the Malays.
They claimed the Malaysiakini report containing the alleged defamatory statements had been shared as much as 9,400 times online and been read widely by members of the public.
The duo are seeking an injunction to prevent Tajuddin from publishing or continuing to publish the alleged defamatory words and for him to make an open apology which is to be published in Bahasa Malaysia newspapers and on every social media platform owned by the defendant.
They also seek general, aggravated, and exemplary damages for libel, five percent interest on the general and aggravated damages, cost, and any other relief deemed fit by the court.
On May 8, Tajuddin filed an application to strike out the legal action by Loke and Pua.
According to a copy of the application filed by law firm Messrs Kamarul Hisham & Hasnal Rezua and sighted by Malaysiakini, he claimed that the lawsuit did not have any reasonable cause of action known under law.
Tajuddin claimed the plaintiffs failed to include the publisher of the alleged defamatory words as a defendant in the suit.
He also claimed that the lawsuit should be struck out as it was wrongly premised on alleged libel rather than slander and that the plaintiffs failed to plead special damages in order to make the legal action “actionable per se” among others.
The matter is set for case management before Judicial Commissioner Latifah Mohd Tahar at the Kuala Lumpur High Court tomorrow.