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Ling to cite ruling to strike out Najib’s suit

 | August 24, 2016

The Court of Appeal, on March this year, ruled a public figure cannot sue for defamation in an official capacity.

ling-najib

KUALA LUMPUR: Former MCA president Ling Liong Sik will cite the “politician cannot sue in an official capacity” ruling to strike out Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s lawsuit against him.

Ling’s lawyer, Ranjit Singh, confirmed this after meeting Justice Nor Bee Ariffin in chambers on Wednesday. “The hearing (to strike out) will move to September 29,” he added.

The lawyer said they are arguing that an elected representative cannot sue. The issue that arises is the lack of legal standing.

The Court of Appeal ruled in March this year that a public figure cannot sue for defamation in an official capacity.

In the 31-page written judgment, Court of Appeal judge Justice Idrus Harun said the people should be able to discuss the conduct of the government and public officials without being subject to civil action.

Najib sued the former Transport Minister for allegedly saying that he (Najib) misused public funds.

He’s seeking general, special, aggravated and exemplary damages.

Najib also wants an injunction to stop Ling from further speaking or publishing or causing to be published any similar defamatory words.

Najib’s lawyer Hafarizam Harun confirmed what Ranjit said. “We have to put in additional submissions before September 20,” he said.

Ling filed a counter defamation suit on December 14 last year against Najib.

He seeks damages.

Hafarizam, on a separate matter, said that he will be filing appearance on a lawsuit by former de facto Law Minister Zaid Ibrahim against Najib.

Zaid wants to recover RM42 million of government money that allegedly went into the Prime Minister’s personal bank account.

“I was appointed on Tuesday. I will file an appearance this week,” he said.

Hafarizam declined to comment on whether he was appointed by the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) as a private lawyer for two suits in the US.

The suits refer to the Department of Justice’s (DoJ) civil action for forfeiture and lawyer Matthias Chang’s class action suit to recover assets acquired allegedly via stolen public funds.


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