Aug 21 verdict in Abdul Azeez’s appeal in defamation suit against Guan Eng

PUTRAJAYA – The Court of Appeal has fixed Aug 21 to deliver its verdict in the appeal by former Baling member of Parliament Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim (picture) over his defamation lawsuit against Lim Guan Eng.

The decision date was fixed following the case management held before Court of Appeal deputy registrar Norkamilah Aziz today.

Abdul Azeez’s lawyer Craig Ho as well as Felix Lim, counsel for the Bagan member of Parliament (Guan Eng) confirmed the decision date when contacted.

On May 19, the Court of Appeal’s three-member panel comprising Justices Datuk Azizah Nawawi, Datuk Seri Mariana Yahya and Datuk Azimah Omar heard the appeal and deferred their decision.

Abdul Azeez is appealing against the Penang High Court’s decision on Dec 11, 2020, in dismissing his defamation suit against Guan Eng, who is also the former Penang chief minister, in connection with the construction of the Penang undersea tunnel project. 

In March 2018, Abdul Azeez sued Guan Eng, claiming that he had issued defamatory statements during a press conference at the Penang Chief Minister’s Office on Feb 28, 2018, and during a Chinese New Year open house hosted by the Penang Development Corporation on the same day, connecting Abdul Azeez to a payment of RM3 million as consultation fees from the developer of the undersea tunnel project.

Abdul Azeez is seeking, among others, general and exemplary damages and other relief deemed fit by the court.

Abdul Azeez lead counsel Porres Royan submitted before the Court of Appeal panel on May 19 that High Court judge Datuk Rosilah Yop’s reasoning in accepting Lim’s defence of plea of justification was flawed and plainly wrong.

He argued that the judge failed to appreciate that Guan Eng had not adduced any proof whatsoever of the truth of the imputation that Abdul Azeez had received money from Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd in connection with the project.

Guan Eng’s lawyer Datuk N. Mureli countered by saying the statement made by his client was not against Abdul Azeez but was targeting other parties and MACC over the authority’s action to charge one person and not charging another person. – Bernama