PETALING JAYA: PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli has claimed that a bankruptcy notice published in a local newspaper last week after his alleged failure to pay damages and costs related to the National Feedlot Corporation’s (NFC) defamation suit against him was intended to mar his reputation.
The Pandan MP said the move to seek the court’s consent to advertise the matter instead of attempting thoroughly to deliver the notice to him by hand was a “cheap ploy” to discredit him personally.
He claimed that the notice was intended to give the picture that he was being dishonest as he had received contributions from people to settle the claims awarded to NFC executive chairman Mohamad Salleh Ismail, but had kept the amount and not issued the necessary payment.
Rafizi has been reported to have obtained contributions of about RM1.5 million for the case.
He said the matter was then used by Umno cybertroopers to attack him as someone who was bankrupt.
“People in general are not well versed about the intricacies behind legal procedures to implement claims for payment after a suit’s judgment has been delivered,” he said in a statement today.
“That is why it is easy to use legal procedures to give the impression that I have refused to pay although I have received contributions of more than RM1.5 million from the people of Malaysia,” he added.
According to the New Straits Times, the notice was dated July 13 and effected by an order dated Sept 12.
Last October, the Kuala Lumpur High Court ruled that Rafizi had defamed NFC and Salleh.
The court awarded a total of RM200,000 damages to Salleh and his company. Rafizi was also ordered to pay costs of RM100,000 to Salleh and his company.
Rafizi said according to Rules of Court 2012, a notice needs to be sent by hand or by registered post, subject to the relevant court regulations.
“In this kind of case, where a notice to seek payment is being made, it means that the lawyer appointed by Salleh needs to make an appointment with me to meet and deliver the notice of claims, and a copy should be signed by me as my acknowledgement for having received the notice.”
He said the rules stated that if a notice needed to be sent to him personally but the court felt it was not practical to do so, an application could be made for a court order to allow other methods to be used.
The court then had the right to order that the notice be advertised and this was usually done by having it published in a national newspaper.
“I am informed by a few colleagues who are lawyers that the applicant must show that he has been unable to trace me, whether it is because the address given no longer exists or no one knows where I am,” he said.
Rafizi also said he did not know the exact amount that needed to be paid.
He said the amount awarded by the judge needed to be added with interest accrued on a daily basis.
“That is why I definitely need to wait for the notice of claims to be delivered by hand to fulfil the legal requirements and know the amount that has to be paid,” he said.
He claimed that he knew about the court order only on Sept 19 after he returned home at 1am.
“The order was dated Sept 14, 2017 and gave me a week, that is until Sept 21, 2017. It was pasted on my house door only on Sept 18 and I only saw it on the morning of Sept 19, 2017,” he said.