Anwar and Lahad Datu intrusion has link based on intelligence

(The Kuala Lumpur Post) –  The group editor-in-chief of Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Berhad, Datuk Abdul Aziz Ishak, maintained that the news linking the opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to the armed intrusion in Sabah was reported by Utusan Malaysia based on intelligence by Malaysia and the Philippines, as well as international media reports.

The company and Aziz also explained that the newspaper is a mainstream newspaper which provides information and knowledge to its readers, where the defendants have moral and legal obligations.

In addition, the intrusion in Lahad Datu was an issue of public interest which should be shared with the people.

Both defendants stated that the plaintiff did not meet with the requirement under Order 18 Rule 12 (1A) of the Rules of Court 2012, whereby the quantum of claim for general damages cannot be stated.

Their position is that the motive of the plaintiff in filing the suit was driven by political interest and not to clear his name.

Anwar, 66, filed the defamation suit demanding for RM100 million on March 8 by naming Utusan and its editor as the first and second defendants, followed by TV3 and group managing editor of Media Prima Berhad, Datuk Shaharudin Latif, as third and fourth defendants.

The news editor of TV3′s Buletin Utama, Ing Boon Seng, was named the last defendant.

The third to fifth defendants, in their statements of claims, said the news programme was aired based on reliable facts and reported in the public interest and in good faith.

The three defendants asked the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s demands on grounds that he had no right to any remedy or relief as claimed.

Judge Rosilah Yeop fixed hearing for three days beginning Dec 9.