KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here ordered a former PAS Selangor youth leader to pay RM80,000 to Seputeh MP Teresa Kok for saying she was “anti-Islam”.
High Court judge Mohd Firuz Jaffril ordered Syarhan Humaizi Halim to pay the damages after ruling that he was liable for publishing the defamatory statement on his Facebook account.
“She (Kok) has proven two out of the three elements required under the law for defamation cases and that the statement made reference to her.
“I think that RM80,000 is sufficient enough.
“This is not to punish the defendant (Syarhan) with a large sum in damages and it is not meant to enrich the plaintiff (Kok),” he said.
Firuz also said that freedom of speech is guaranteed under the Federal Constitution but this right is subject to laws such as the Sedition Act and Defamation Act.
The court also awarded RM10,000 as costs to Kok after Kok’s lawyer K Murali said he was leaving it to the court’s discretion to decide on the amount.
Syarhan was represented by Wan Rohimi Wan Daud. Rohimi said he will speak to Syarhan on whether to appeal over today’s decision.
Kok filed the suit against Syarhan last year, claiming he had suggested that she was a racist and a bigot, adding that it could have “serious negative implications” on her reputation.
She sought damages as well as an injunction to stop Syarhan from further publishing articles accusing her of being anti-Islam.