Courtroom courage

There are two staggering news on parties being sued in court pertaining to the highly controversial Malaysian Government strategic investment corporation 1MDB.

First, it is Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak against former MCA President and Transport Minister Tun Dr. Ling Liong Sik for the utterance of slanderous statement.

The Star story:

Published: Thursday October 29, 2015 MYT 3:36:00 PM
Updated: Thursday October 29, 2015 MYT 8:25:36 PM

Najib sues Dr Ling for defamation

BY M MAGESWARI

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is suing former Cabinet minister Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik for allegedly implying that he had misused public fund for his personal interests.

Najib said that an online news portal had on Oct 3 published an article saying Dr Ling had made slanderous statements against him while attending a ceremony at Tunku Abdul Rahman University College.

He said Dr Ling, former Transport Minister, had uttered defamatory words in his speech with malicious intention to put him in the position of public scandal, contempt and odium.

He said the words had implied that he had misappropriated government funds belonging to government investment fund, 1MDB, into his personal.account.

He said the words also meant that he had betrayed the trust given by the people by corruptly misusing his position and capacity as the chairman of Advisory Board of a government investment company for his personal interests.

He said the words had implied that he had abused his power as the leader of a political party and leader of the people, he is not a competent to be leader of the Government or the Prime Minister and involved in a scandalaous or financial conspiracy to defraud the people of Malaysia.

He said the words implied that he is not fit to be chairman of Barisan Nasional, which is constituted by the amalgamation of 13 registered political parties.

Najib said his reputation has been gravely injured following the publication of the defamatory words which was shared by the social media and mass media users.

He said that the allegations are very serious and that it has caused contempt to him in the social and mass media.

He said the defamatory words also an attack to his moral and character that he is now being labelled as a dishonest, untrustworthy and irresponsible person.

He said the defamatory words are baseless allegations and without any basis.

Najib said that his solicitor had sent a letter of demand dated Oct 5 to Dr Ling to cease from making any further defamatory statements of him, an apology, an retraction and to provide a written undertaking that he shall refrain from publishing such defamatory statement and to compensate him for severe damage to reputation.

He said Dr Ling, through his solicitor had replied in a letter dated Oct 8 stating that he did not admit to any of the statements and reserved his right to take or receive further legal action.

The premier is seeking for general, special, aggravated and exemplary damages to be assessed by the court.

Among others, Najib is applying for an injunction to restrain Dr Ling from further speaking or publishing or causing to be published any similiar defamatory words against him, whether orally or in the printed media or on the Internet.

He is asking for an order that Dr Ling publish a written apology in newspaper or magazines to be identified by him.

He had on Oct 27 filed the suit at the High Court civil registry through Messrs Hafarizam Wan & Aisha Mubarak.

*********

This is a bold and historical decision for a sitting BN Chairman to take to court a leader who acted as BN Chairman for a period of a week. It was on the day UMNO was declared illegal by Kuala Lumpur High Court (8 Feb 1988) till UMNO (Baru) was formed and approved by Registrar of Society a week later, to replace the former nationalist party.

It is a demonstration of the seriousness Prime Minister Najib against the defamatory statement made by Dr Ling at a formal and esteemed event.

There is other story about former Petro Saudi executive Xavier A. Justo taking to court those who got the stolen information of his former employer, namely The Edge CEO and publisher Ho Kay Tat and Sarawak Report Editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown.

Bernama.com story:

Published: Thursday October 29, 2015 MYT 8:57:00 PM
Updated: Thursday October 29, 2015 MYT 9:05:13 PM

Justo to sue those he gave Petrosaudi data

BANGKOK: Swiss national Xavier Andre Justo, now serving a three-year jail term here for trying to blackmail his former employer PetroSaudi International, is to sue the owner of the Edge Media Group and its top executive as well as the founder of Sarawak Report in the High Court in Singapore.

Justo wants Toong Kooi Ong and The Edge Communications Sdn Bhd group chief executive and publisher Ho Kay Tat and founder-editor of Sarawak Report Clare Rewcastle-Brown to return the data that he had handed them, according to a source familiar with the case.

The source told Bernama the lawsuit is scheduled to be heard at the High Court in Singapore on Nov 4.

He said the lawsuit was brought to Singapore as the data, which Justo had stolen from PetroSaudi, was handed to them there.

Justo had admitted to stealing 90 gigabytes of data, including emails and documents, from PetroSaudi as part of an attempted blackmail.

When the blackmail failed, he handed the data to Toong and Brown who are alleged to have offered about US$2 million, but was arrested on June 22 on the island of Koh Samui in southern Thailand before he could receive any payment.

Justo applied for bail on Monday but his application was rejected by the court. He is expected to make a fresh bail application next week.

In Kuala Lumpur, lawyer Kevin Joshua said Justo had no right to sue since he has “no title to the property” to make any claim.

“It’s like a robber suing a goldsmith to whom he sold stolen jewellery,” said the partner in Kevin and Co.

“While he may have a right to initiate a suit the question is whether it can be sustained, and that depends on what is pleaded.” – Bernama

*************

The Edge and Sarawak Report dishonoured Justo for the promise of cash but instead  indiscriminately abused the stolen information,  in the strategy to put the Opposition in power by demonising Prime Minister Najib and indirectly affecting UMNO/BN led Federal Government.

If Ho and Rewcastle-Brown are made to return the said stolen information, then it is admission that the duo utilised stolen goods to achieve their sinister agenda.

On the other hand in the court of public opinion, 1MDB Group Executive Director and President Arul Kanda accepted the challenge by DAP Chief Strategist and Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua for a public showdown pertaining the strategic investment corporation.

Media statement by 1MDB:

Media statement by Arul Kanda, President & Group Executive Director, 1Malaysia Development Berhad

Issued on 29 October 2015

For immediate publication

Arul Kanda: I Accept the Challenge

YB Tony Pua has challenged me this morning to a “live talk show” with him. I hereby accept his challenge and look forward to answering his questions.

It is a known fact that YB Tony Pua is a member of the Public Accounts Committee, which is in the midst of conducting an investigation into 1MDB. In order to maintain the integrity of the PAC’s investigation, and to avoid any conflict of interest, YB Tony Pua must first resign from the PAC.

Despite his efforts to do so, YB Tony Pua cannot be judge, jury and executioner. As such, I trust he will have the courage to do the right thing and resign from the PAC in order for us to have, in his words, a “no-holds barred” discussion on live television.

Arul Kanda, President & Group Executive Director

*****************

It is obvious a political stunt by Pua as a current Public Accounts Committee (PAC) member to challenge Arul, where at the moment the Parliamentary body is still hearing evidence and testimonies on 1MDB.

There are growing serious concerns of integrity, breach of secrecy and abuse of privileged information, with the likeliness that Pua might use information he obtained as a PAC member against Arul in the live TV debate.

Hence, call amongst Parliamentarians to demand Pua to quit PAC before taking Arul live on tv is growing.

Pro-Anwarista news portal story:

Nazri backs Arul Kanda, says Tony Pua should quit PAC

BY EILEEN NG

Published: 29 October 2015 3:44 PM
A senior Umno minister says DAP’s Tony Pua should quit Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) if he wants a live TV debate with 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) president Arul Kanda Kandasamy as this will prevent conflict of interest.

Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said PAC was in the midst of probing the state-owned investment firm and the Petaling Jaya Utara federal lawmaker could not be part of the debate if he was still on the bipartisan panel.

“He must be a neutral person, so he must resign from PAC so he can go debate with Arul Kanda,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby.
“He must get out of PAC and debate. PAC is investigating so how can you debate when you’re still a member?” he said.
Arul Kanda today accepted Pua’s challenge to a live TV interview on the debt-ridden investor, but said the DAP lawmaker must first resign as PAC member to preserve the integrity of the committee and prevent conflict of interest.

Pua had earlier challenged Arul Kanda to a live interview to clear the air about the state-owned firm as the 1MDB president had failed to respond to allegations against it.

Pua added that Malaysians were no closer to the truth concerning the scandals as the 1MDB head continued his public relations campaign with recycled answers. – October 29, 2015.

– See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/nazri-backs-arul-kanda-says-tony-pua-should-quit-pac#sthash.MiReBb3c.dpuf

**************

The call even arisen from fellow PAC member and Opposition MPs alike.

 

PAC member joins calls for Pua to quit panel before 1MDB debate

BY EILEEN NG

Published: 29 October 2015 6:01 PM

A member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has joined the chorus of voices asking colleague Tony Pua to quit the bipartisan panel if he wants to go ahead with a live debate with 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) president Arul Kanda Kandasamy.

Barisan Nasional MP Datuk Liang Teck Meng said the DAP’s Petaling Jaya Utara MP should respect parliamentary institution and holding a “no holds barred” TV debate with the chief executive of the state investment firm would be an “insult” to the nation’s highest legislative body.

“Holding a live no holds barred TV debate with one of the subjects of the parliamentary inquiry is an insult to Parliament,” he said in reference to PAC which was probing 1MDB.

“No respected parliament in the world would allow this.

“If this is a legal case, it is as good as member of the jury or judge arguing with the accused on live TV before the court case. That would be sub judice,” Liang said in a statement today.

The Barisan Nasional Simpang Renggam MP also expressed his worries that Pua’s impartiality may be compromised if he “loses badly” to Arul Kanda during the debate.

Earlier today, Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said Pua should quit before embarking on the debate to prevent a conflict of interest.

Arul Kanda today accepted Pua’s challenge to a live TV interview on the debt-ridden investor, but said the DAP MP must first resign as PAC member to preserve the integrity of the committee and prevent conflict of interest.

Pua earlier challenged Arul Kanda to a live interview to clear the air about the state-owned firm as the 1MDB president had failed to respond to allegations against it.

Pua added that Malaysians were no closer to the truth concerning the scandals as the 1MDB head continued  his public relations campaign with recycled answers.  – October 29, 2015.

– See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/pac-member-joins-calls-for-pua-to-quit-panel-before-1mdb-debate#sthash.UDZCR2J7.dpuf

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Arul Kanda’s willingness to accept Pua’s challenge outside the formal appearance in PAC under the secrecy of privileged information is a demonstration of his consistency in offering information to the various queries and angles, which affected 1MDB.

Arul calling Pua, translate to making it tight for Pua to weave around manipulated and fabricated information in the public debate since it would be a near exact testimony when Arul presents himself on behalf of 1MDB to PAC. Even without the public debate, it is a gambit pointing towards Pua’s gradual loss in the game of demonising Prime Minister Najib and 1MDB.

It is interesting how Pua would weave himself out of this tight political image of a sordid desperate MP.

Published in: on October 29, 2015 at 21:15  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I am looking forward to Justo’s suit being launched in the High Court in Singapore.

    Just one question. Justo is sitting in a jail in Thailand.

    Will he be released “on condition” by the Thai authorities so that he can attend the trial in Singapore?

    The defendants have the right to insist that they be able to face their accuser in court – in person.


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