Dec 9: hearing of committal proceeding against JMM president

by BERNAMA/ pic by TMR

The High Court has fixed Dec 9 to hear an application for committal proceeding by Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok Suh Sim (picture) against Pertubuhan Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM) president Datuk Azwanddin Hamzah for allegedly failing to comply with the terms of settlement in a defamation suit filed by the minister.

Kok’s lawyer, K.Murali, informed reporters the date after the matter came up for case management before judicial commissioner Rohani Ismail in chambers today.

Murali said the application for committal proceeding against Azwanddin was filed last Oct 8 following his failure to submit an open apology in three newspapers, namely Sinar Harian, The Star and Sin Chew Daily and to pay costs, which were among the terms of settlement for the defamation suit.

Kok had filed the defamation suit against Azwanddin for linking her in a land dispute involving the Sri Maha Mariamman Hindu temple in Seafield, Subang Jaya and the case was amicably resolved at the High Court last July 29 with Rohani recording the terms of the settlement.

“We filed for committal proceeding because the defendant (Azwanddin) did not fulfill the terms of the settlement within the 45 days from July 29,” said Murali.

The settlement also included a term for Azwanddin to retract statements on the issue which he had posted on the social media.

Kok filed the suit last Jan 8 and named Azwanddin in his personal capacity as the first defendant and as JMM president, as second defendant.

In her statement of claim, Kok said that on Dec 25 last year, at a rally held at Dataran Seni Klang, Selangor, Azwanddin as the president of JMM had made a speech which among others, contained defamatory words and lies about her.

She contended that the speech in their ordinary and natural meaning were understood to mean, among others, that she was a racist, had abused her power as a minister and acted unfairly, as well as was a dishonest minister, with no ethics and had no principles.

She further claimed that the defendant had caused the publication of the speech with the intention and motive of defaming her in her personal and official capacity, was mala fide and with malicious intent.

The minister contended that the speech was published with the purpose of inciting the public and to create ill-will towards her and was conveyed irresponsibly to the public for cheap publicity, to create chaos and possible physical and other harm to her.

She had sought general, aggravated and exemplary damages, as well as an injunction to restrain the defendants either through agents and/or any other persons from further uttering, writing or publishing the same speech, and also costs.