Saturday, December 13, 2008

Kok sues Utusan, Chamil for RM30mil

Selangor executive councillor and Seputeh MP Teresa Kok has filed a RM30 million defamation suit against Umno-owned

Utusan Malaysia and prominent writer Chamil Wariya.

teresa kok sues chamil waraya utusan malaysia court 121208 03She is suing Chamil, currently Malaysian Press Institute chief executive officer, and Utusan over the publication of a short story ‘Politik baru YB J’ which appeared on Oct 12 in Mingguan Malaysia.

The story describes a female member of Parliament named Josephine who was deemed anti-Malay and anti-Islam, and who was eventually murdered.

Earlier Kok had sent both parties a letter of demand in which she said the story by Chamil was designed to deliberately encourage and fan racial and religious hatred towards her.

source of this article - Malaysiakita - “(The article) is deliberately designed to justify and or encourage the causing of grave physical harm to our client including assassination,” read the letter.

Kok had told Utusan to retract the article and publish an apology.

Both letters were issued on Oct 17. The two recipients were given seven days to reply, failing which legal proceedings would be initiated.

The law suit was filed today after Kok failed to receive a response from Chamil. Utusan has already responded.

Kok is seeking RM30 million in compensatory damages, aggravated and exemplary damages and also an injunction restraining the defendants from uttering, speaking or publishing the offending article or words again.

The suit was filed at the High Court registry at 8.35am today by the law firm SN Nair and Partners.

Disturbing similarities

In her statement of claim, Kok said the article portrayed her as a racist and religious bigot. It also portrayed her as an untrustworthy politician who was intolerant, chauvinistic, anti-Islam and anti-Malay, a danger to society and who must be assassinated.

politik baru yb j newscut 241008Kok also alleged that the article, among others, insinuated that she had committed an offence and should be jailed and that her political philosophy was destructive to Malaysia. The article had also allegedly hinted that it was lawful to kill someone if you disagreed with their political views.

The Seputeh MP added that the article's portrayal of her was unfounded, baseless and in gross negligence, and was out to tarnish her reputation as an MP, a state assemblyperson and a Selangor executive councillor.

She alleged that the actions of the defendants were malicious and had stoked hatred towards her which led to a molotov cocktail attack on her home.

Kok also pointed out that there were similarities between her and the character, in that they were both in the thick of a religious and racial controversy; had Malay drivers and were members of opposition parties.

The religious controversy Kok was referring to was the one involving former Selangor Menteri Besat Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo and website pembelamelayu who had accused Kok of attempting to seek public support for a petition to tone down the volume of azan in the Kinrara, Puchong and Kota Damansara mosques.

Nair, who was present at the filing said this will be a first of three suits to be filed by the politician

"We will file another lawsuit against Khir next week for what the former MB had said about my client," he said, adding that the third suit would be against pembelamelayu.

Law suits: Tit for tat

Kok had earlier filed a RM30 million defamation suit against Utusan and the paper’s columnist Zaini Hassan over another article which allegedly defamed her.

teresa kok sues chamil waraya utusan malaysia court 121208 02The suit was filed on Oct 9 following her release from seven days of detention under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

Her arrest was linked to her alleged involvement in petitioning a mosque to lower the volume of azan over the loudspeakers.

The allegations surfaced in Zaini’s article but were denied by Kok as well as the mosque committee.

Utusan has also filed a suit against Kok for allegedly defaming the company when she allegedly accused the Malay daily of distorting her statements about the food she was served while under ISA detention. -- Malaysiakini

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