SHAH ALAM: A former Perak executive councillor has been awarded RM320,000 in damages in a defamation suit he filed against a farmer, a journalist and a news organisation.
Judicial commissioner Tee Geok Hock, in his decision delivered via e-mail this evening, said A Sivanesan had proven his case against the defendants on the balance of probabilities.
He ordered farmer Poh Wai Sheng to pay RM50,000, Foong Pek Yee to pay RM70,000 and The Star Media Group Bhd RM200,000.
However, he dismissed Sivanesan’s suit against transport minister and MCA president Wee Ka Siong, who had made a comment in his Facebook based on the article.
Tee also ordered Poh, Foong and The Star to publish an apology in The Star’s online and print versions.
The article was published in the newspaper and the online version on Aug 4, 2018, based on information provided by Poh to Foong.
The issue was in relation to an alleged bulldozing of fruit trees on state land in Kampung Kuala Bikam, near Bidor, by a sand mining company, which is a subsidiary of Menteri Besar Incorporated.
Sivanesan was an executive councillor and also assemblyman for Sungkai where the land was said to be located.
The defendants pleaded justification, fair comment and qualified privilege.
Lawyers R Kengadharan, Nagarajan Loganathan and S Lavinya represented Sivananesan.
Ng Kian Nam appeared for Poh, and counsel Yee Mei Ken represented Foong and The Star.
Wee was represented by Ang Boon Heng.