Defamation suit: Khalid Samad fails to get leave to appeal

PUTRAJAYA – Former Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad (picture) failed in his bid to obtain leave to proceed with his appeal at the Federal Court against a Court of Appeal decision in setting aside the RM80,000 in damages awarded to him for defamation.

A Federal Court three-member panel comprising Justices Tan Sri Rohana Yusuf and Federal Court judges Datuk Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal and Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah, in an online court proceeding today, dismissed Khalid’s application and ordered him to pay RM30,000 costs.

In the court’s decision, Justice Rohana, who led the panel, said the court had considered all submissions and found that Khalid’s application did not meet the requisite condition to be given leave.

Khalid had sued former Malaysia Islamic Strategic Research Institute (IKSIM) chief executive officer Professor Datuk Mahamad Naser Disa for defamation over the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment) Bill 2016 or RUU355.

The High Court on July 17, 2019, ruled in favour of Khalid and ordered Mahamad Naser to pay him RM80,000.

On Jan 28, this year, the Court of Appeal allowed Mahamad Naser’s appeal to set aside the High Court’s decision, prompting Khalid to file leave to pursue his appeal to the Federal Court.

Khalid filed a suit against Mahamad Naser in December 2017 claiming that he (Mahamad Naser) made malicious statements against him in a seminar organised by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS) on Sept 28, 2017 at the Tengku Ampuan Jemaah Mosque, Bukit Jelutong in Shah Alam.

Khalid claimed that Mahamad Naser, had in a lecture entitled, `Discourse on current issues and Selangor state legislation: Doctrine: Challenges and Constitution,’ had among other matters, stated that he (Khalid) was strongly against RUU355, against the implementation of Islamic law including hudud, and opposed efforts to empower the Syariah Courts.

The High Court Judicial Commissioner Rohani Ismail, in her decision, which was in favour of Khalid, held that the court found no evidence indicating that Khalid had issued a statement that he was against RUU355.

Khalid was represented by lawyer Muhammad Faiz Fadzil while Datuk Hasnal Rezua Merican acted for Mahamad Naser. – Bernama