Perak MB wins suit against PKR

(Bernama) – Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir today obtained a judgment in his RM100 million suit over an article published by Suara Keadilan, the monthly newspaper of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

High Court Senior Assistant Registrar Noordura Mohamad Din allowed Dr Zambry’s application to get the judgment on certain parts in the defendants’ statement of defence after hearing the submissions of both parties in chambers.

Dr Zambry’s counsel Firoz Hussein Jamaluddin told reporters that the court would assess the damages later.

The Perak Menteri Besar had applied to enter judgment under Order 27 (Rule 3) of the Rules of the High Court 1980 following an admission by the defendants in their statement of defence.

Firoz Hussein told reporters that the defendants had admitted that the words “Zambry denied entry to US on suspicion of being terrorist” in its Dec 29, 2009 to Jan 5, 2010 edition were false and baseless.

He said the court set Nov 29 for both parties to argue before a judge over the other meaning of defamatory words stated in Dr Zambry’s statement of claim.

In the suit filed on Feb 25, Dr Zambry named Datin Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail in her capacity as an office bearer of PKR, the party’s deputy president, Dr Syed Husin Ali, as the chief editor of Suara Keadilan, the publisher of the newspaper, Pelita Koridor Sdn Bhd, and the printer of Suara Keadilan, Percetakan NPK Sdn Bhd, as the defandants.

Zambry, in his statement of claim, said the article published by the monthly Suara Keadilan dated Dec 29, 2009, titled “Zambry Disyaki Pengganas – Gagal masuk ke Amerika Syarikat (Zambry suspected as Terrorist – Fails to Enter United States)” contained defamatory words which were false, baseless and were maliciously published.

He said he was not denied entry into the United States and did in fact enter the US and was duly accorded recognition of his status as the Perak Menteri Besar.

He contended that his visit to the US was widely reported in the media and that the defendants had intentionally published the defamatory words.

He is seeking RM100 million in damages, including aggravated and exemplary damages, interest of eight per cent per annum and also an injunction to restrain the defandants from further  publishing the defamatory words or any similar defamatory words against him.

The defendants, in their statement of defence, stated that an apology titled “Mohon Maaf Dr Zambry (Sorry Dr Zambry)” and withdrawal of the said article were published in the newspaper dated March 30 this year.

All the defendants were represented by counsel Ranjit Singh.