Deputy Defence Minister Liew Chin Tong has filed an RM20 million civil suit against Malay group Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM) president Datuk Azwanddin Hamzah, according to DAP National Legal Bureau chairman Ramkarpal Singh today.
Ramkarpal, who is also Bukit Gelugor MP, said the civil suit against Azwanddin involved two allegedly defamatory articles published by the latter.
“The first was in regard to a Facebook posting by Azwanddin with the captioned ‘Hari ini dengan sengaja timbalan menteri pertahanan berpakaian seragam komunis di hadapan tentera melayu ini sikap kurang ajar’ (Today, the deputy defence minister purposely shows up in a communist uniform in front of Malay soldiers. This is disrespectful.) dated October 30.
“The second was in regard to an article authored by Azwanddin that was posted on JMM’s website dated November 19 titled ‘Kementerian Pertahanan Kini Berada Dalam Tekanan Dan Ancaman’ (Defence Ministry Now Faces Pressure and Threat),” Ramkarpal said.
Both articles linked Liew and the DAP to communists and insinuated that Liew is obtaining top secret material to compromise national security.
Previously, Liew had demanded that Azwanddin apologise over the latter’s remark accusing him of wearing a “communist” uniform.
Liew had worn the khaki outfit when inspecting an honour guard during an official visit to an Armed Forces camp in October, after which Azwanddin had called the deputy minister rude for wearing a “communist” shirt to an official function.
Liew had previously denied wearing a “Communist uniform”, pointing out that it was the Defence Ministry’s designated bush jacket for official military events.
He deemed Azwanddin’s accusation an insult to the armed forces and the ministry.
Additionally, Liew pointed out that several ministers had also worn similarly khaki-coloured uniforms in the past – including former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak and his deputy Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
It was reported last month that Azwanddin refused to apologise for the “Communist uniform” remark, maintaining that it is Liew’s party DAP that must apologise for purported insults towards Malays and Islam.
Ramkarpal said in a statement that the suit was filed on behalf of Liew by Messrs Karpal Singh & Co on December 27 in the Kuala Lumpur High Court and case management is fixed on January 29.
“Liew is claiming from Azwanddin, amongst others, general damages, exemplary damages and an injunction restraining Azwanddin from further publishing similar articles in the future,” he said.
Azwanddin was recently remanded for four days after he called on the public to storm a police station if the police fail to take action against those responsible for the death of firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim.
He is being investigated under Section 506 of the Penal Code for criminal intimidation, and Section 504 of the Penal Code for intentionally insulting a person.