July 12 decision on MP’s bid to strike out suit by Loke, Pua

Pasir Salak MP Tajuddin Abdul Rahman.

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here will rule on July 12 whether to strike out a defamation suit filed by two DAP MPs against Pasir Salak MP Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, who accused the duo of trying to turn Malaysia into a republic.

Lawyer Farhan Haziq Mohamed, who is appearing for Seremban MP Loke Siew Fook and Damansara MP Tony Pua, said judicial commissioner Latifah Mohd Tahar adjourned the decision after hearing from both parties.

“She has fixed July 12 for a decision on whether to allow Tajuddin’s application to strike out the suit,” he said.

Tajuddin’s lawyer, Hasnal Rezua Merican, submitted in court today the suit lacked particulars as Loke, who is the transport minister, and Pua did not plead that his client had published the defamatory statement.

However, lawyer Fahri Azzat rebutted that the striking out application filed on May 8 is unsustainable, saying it did not disclose any cause of action, and was frivolous and vexatious.

“It must be dismissed and a trial should be held so that witnesses could be called to give evidence,” he said.

Loke and Pua, who is also political secretary to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, filed the suit against Tajuddin over a speech he made at Kampung Jawa on the eve of the Sungai Kandis by-election on Aug 3 last year.

They said Tajuddin’s speech was also reported on the same night in a news portal with the heading: “Tajuddin fires ‘Christian DAP’ salvo to close BN’s Sg Kandis campaign”.

Both plaintiffs, in their statement of claim filed on March 21, said they were not Christians as claimed by Tajuddin.

They said Tajuddin had alleged that Lim, Loke, Pua and Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh would use politics as a platform to spread the Christian faith.

The duo alleged Tajuddin had uttered that they wanted to establish a system of government like Singapore where there was no king, no sultan and no Agong.

They said Tajuddin’s statement gave the impression to the public that they were using their positions as MP and in the government to advance their political agenda.

Loke and Pua applied for an injunction to stop Tajuddin from publishing the defamatory word in traditional and social media, and also an apology.

They also want general, aggravated and exemplary damages, costs and other relief deemed fit by the court.

The court has allowed an exemption to Tajudin from filing his defence pending the outcome of the striking out application.