Defamatory speech: Teresa Kok demands RM30m damages from JMM, Azwanddin and to tender apology

Pic By TMR

KUALA LUMPUR • Minister of Primary Industries Teresa Kok Suh Sim (picture) has demanded that Pertubuhan Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM) and its president Datuk Azwanddin Hamzah make an apology and seeking RM30 million in damages, otherwise they face legal action over a defamatory speech linking her in the land dispute involving the Sri Maha Mariamman Hindu temple, Seafield, Subang Jaya.

In a  letter of demand dated Dec 26, through the legal firm, S.N.Nair & Partners, Kok had stated that on Dec 25 at a rally held at Dataran Seni Klang, Selangor, Azwanddin as the president  of JMM  had published  a speech which was derogatory and defamatory to Kok.

The letter said the speech contained defamatory words uttered and/or published by Azwanddin about Kok  which was in their ordinary meaning and natural meaning were understood to mean among others that their client was racist, had abused her power as a minister and acted unfairly, as well as a dishonest minister and unethical.

“We are therefore, instructed to demand from you, which we hereby do, an an immediate  an unequivocal public retraction of the impugned speech and words and the removal and retraction of all the offending and defamatory comments forthwith, an apology  in the terms to be approved by us as solicitors, to be published in the newspapers or media of our  client’s choice and an undertaking by you not to repeat the same allegations  and comments,” it said.

The letter stated that Kok had instructed  the legal firm to demand damages of RM30 million from  Azwanddin  and JMM for the injury caused to Kok’s reputation.

The letter said if the legal firm did not receive a satisfactory reply within seven days from today,  their client had ordered the firm to institute legal proceedings against JMM and Azwanddin.

It  said the words contained in the speech against Kok amounted to a very serious  libel an/or slander to her  and had caused their client considerable distress and embarrassment  and damage to her reputation and the comments were false, malicious as well as  the attack against her was wholly unjustified.

The letter also stated that the words uttered and published  were bereft of the truth, vexatious, specious and were grossly negligent, reckless and aimed to lower Kok’s esteem in the eyes of the public, both locally and internationally and exposed her to public hatred, scorn and odium.

It said the words also were pre-meditated and calculated to tarnish, defame and seriously injure the good name and character of Kok. — Bernama