KUALA LUMPUR: Controversial Umno leader Jamal Yunos says he only learnt today that he is being sued for RM5 million for allegedly defaming Damansara Utama assemblywoman Yeo Bee Yin.
Jamal, when contacted, said Yeo filed the suit over his allegations that she misappropriated funds from the state’s Yayasan Warisan Anak Selangor (Yawas).
The High Court here held case management today but he was not present and neither was his lawyer.
He claimed he had not been served with the documents.
“How can I be there when I did not receive the writ of summons from Yeo?
“I have already instructed my lawyer to get in touch with her lawyer,” he told FMT.
Jamal said he accepted the suit against him in the spirit of democracy as it gave Yeo the opportunity to defend herself.
Similarly, he said he also had the right to defend himself and to give evidence in court.
“As someone who represents public interest, when I get evidence of wrongdoing, I have to reveal it. It is not to slander Yeo,” he added.
Meanwhile, at the court lobby today, Yeo’s lawyer S N Nair said the next date for case management had been fixed on Aug 3.
Nair said should Jamal fail to show up again, they would apply for a judgement in default.
Yeo said she hoped Jamal would show up in court and file his defence.
“In my short political life I have never faced such allegations. It is unfair.
“I want to sue him to make sure he bears the consequences, that he does not get away with the allegations.
“It is important for him to come to court. Let us get a trial. I want to clear my name. I want to make sure he pays for the damage he caused me,” she said.
In the statement of claim, Yeo said Jamal’s allegations, which were widely reported by the media, had painted her as a person who abused her power and acted unfairly, that she had abused government funds for her own use, that she was a politician unqualified to hold a party position, a liar and untrustworthy person, and unethical.
She claimed the reports had jeopardised her standing as a politician in the eyes of her party, party members, and her constituents.
It had also brought severe and irreparable damage to her character, credit and reputation both locally and internationally, and involved her in public scandal, and subjected her to hate and insults in the eyes of the community, she added.
She is seeking RM5 million in general damages, as well as compensatory, aggravated and exemplary damages.
She is also seeking an injunction to prevent Jamal from repeating his allegations.
On March 14, Jamal, the Sungai Besar Umno chief, alleged that politicians from Kuala Lumpur and Selangor had taken funds meant for welfare aid from Yawas instead of disbursing the money to eligible recipients.
He had identified DAP’s Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, DAP’s Sekinchan assemblyman Ng Suee Lim and a PKR rep whom he did not name as the alleged culprits.
Jamal had also alleged Yeo had taken money allocated for welfare although no one had passed away. He added that he also had information from beneficiaries who did not get their due allocation.
Yeo subsequently refuted the allegations and produced 10 files filled with documents on payments related to the Senior Citizens Friendly Scheme under Yawas.