Temple land dispute: Kok sues Malay rights group leader over speech

Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok says Azwanddin’s statement is ‘detrimental to my self-worth as a minister and DAP leader’.

PETALING JAYA: Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok today filed a lawsuit against Malay rights group leader Azwanddin Hamzah over an alleged defamatory speech he made at a gathering in Klang for the late fireman Muhammad Adib Kassim on Christmas Day.

This comes after the Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM) president failed to respond and apologise to Kok within a week of her letter of demand dated Dec 26.

Azwanddin had alleged that Kok had a personal interest in the land dispute involving the Sri Maha Mariamman temple in Subang Jaya, which led to riots and the death of Adib, who was beaten up by a mob .

Malay rights group leader Azwanddin Hamzah.

In her letter of demand, the Seputeh MP had sought an apology and RM30 million in damages from Azwanddin .

However, in the lawsuit filed today, she is seeking an unspecific amount in general, aggravated and exemplary damages.

She also wants the court to grant an injunction to stop Azwanddin and his agents from further repeating the alleged defamatory statements.

“The allegations by Azwanddin are baseless and contain accusations that incorrectly criminalised me.

“I was never involved in the temple riots and I had issued statements previously to deny any links to One City Sdn Bhd (the temple land developer),” she said.

Kok described Azwanddin’s statement as “clearly motivated by bad motive and malicious intentions”, suggesting moral and legal misconduct on her part.

“He was trying to gain cheap publicity and political mileage,” she said, adding that Azwanddin’s speech was “pre-meditated” to harm her reputation.

Azwanddin had previously said police should arrest Kok over the alleged links to the land developer.

He also allegedly attacked Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department P Waytha Moorthy with derogatory words at the same gathering and accused him of causing Adib’s death.