Sri Tanjung assemblyman Jimmy Wong alleged that statements made against him were calculated to make negative inferences of him and that he is a liar.
KOTA KINABALU: A Sabah state assemblyman has filed a RM150 million suit against the state government and several of its agencies for defamation.
Sri Tanjung assemblyman, Jimmy Wong, named Land and Survey Department director Osman Jamal, the Native Certificate Holders Transfer Committee (NTHTC), State Native Affairs Council, Local Government and Housing Minister and the Sabah state government as the defendants, in that order, in the suit filed yesterday.
Wong, 62, who is also DAP Sabah chief is seeking RM100 million in damages from the first and second defendant and another RM50 million or damages to be assessed by the court as well as punitive damages against all the defendants for unconstitutional actions.
He also wanted the policy introduced in 1982 to stop the issuance of native certificates in Sabah to be declared null and void.
“The continued implementation of the unlawful policy is discriminatory and a gross violation of the human rights of those qualified to be native persons under the laws of Sabah,” he said.
Wong, in his statement of claim, has taken exception to the Director of Land and Survey telling the press “…the case of DAP Sri Tanjung Jimmy Wong and the public interest that it generated only served to ensure a further tightening of the process and make holders of dubious NCs (Native Certificates) think twice before going ahead with their plans”.
The news report also quoted the director as stating that perhaps the transfer of the land was done before the committee was set up in reference to Wong’s ownership of some land that is deemed for natives only as the law stated that any transfer of native land to a non-native is invalid and null and void.
Wong bought using his Native Certificate which was recently declared invalid by the state government.
Osman also said that his department was awaiting instructions from the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, the State Native Affairs Council and the board that recommended the cancellation in order to reclaim the land.
State Local Government and Housing Minister Hajiji Mohd Noor told the State Legislative Assembly last March that Wong’s NC had been invalidated by board members appointed by the head of state.
The minister said that Wong’s race status in the certificate “contradicted with his actual race, which is Chinese and that there is not a single drop of Kadazan blood flowing through his body because both of his parents are Chinese descendants as stated in his birth certificate”.
Wong said that by reasons of the statements of the first defendant and acting in the office of the second defendant, he had suffered loss of reputation and damage.
He alleged the statements were calculated to make negative and false inferences of him and that he is a liar, made false statement about his native ancestry, holds a bogus native certificate, does not have a single drop of native blood flowing through his body, not fit for public office, a corrupt politician, not trustworthy in his business affairs and of dubious character.
The statement that “there is not a single drop of Kadazan blood flowing through his body because of his parents are Chinese descendants as stated in his birth certificate” was highly seditious and tantamount to racial abuse towards him, he said.
The first, second, third, fourth and fifth defendants were acting or planning to act in violation of his rights as a native persons and his property rights as well as human rights, he said.
Apart from monetary and punitive damages, Wong was also seeking injunctive relief restraining the first and second defendants from making defamatory remarks about him and his native status and rights.
Similarly, Wong also wants an injunctive relief to restrain the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth defendants from interfering or preventing him from exercising his native rights.
The writ of summons was filed by counsel, Marcel Jude Joseph, who was accompanied by Wong himself and several other DAP Sabah leaders at the High Court here.