Jamal Yunos’ Last-Minute Bid to Postpone Defamation Suit

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Kok claims Jamal’s accusations were baseless.

  • Last Thursday, Jamal filed an application to strike out the lawsuit
  • The trial was scheduled for today and tomorrow, but he was a no-show
  • His lawyer claims he is unwell and on medical leave

Teresa Kok’s lawyer SN Nair said in the Kuala Lumpur High Court today that Umno leader Jamal Yunos had filed an application to strike out the primary industries minister’s defamatory lawsuit against him over alleged misuse of Yayasan Warisan Anak Selangor (Yawas) funds.

High Court judge Datuk Ahmad Bache then allowed a slightly frustrated-looking Teresa Kok to approach his seat and address the court.

Despite having work commitments in the senate, Kok said she attended the hearing today because its date had been set months ago while pointing out that Jamal did not show up.

FMT

“I would appreciate it if maybe you could deliver a decision today, so we can save all the man-hours from his (Jamal) lawyers and my lawyers,” Kok said.

Nair told judge Ahmad Bache that they received an 11th-hour application to strike out Kok’s suit last Thursday.

Reportedly, Jamal had filed an application to strike out the lawsuit under Order 18, rule 19 of the Rules of Court 2012 and convert it into a stay of proceedings, pending the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigation results on Kok regarding claims that she and other DAP leaders misappropriated welfare funds from Yayasan Warisan Anak Selangor (Yawas).

Jamal alleged in 2017 that politicians from Kuala Lumpur and Selangor had taken funds meant for welfare aid from Yawas instead of disbursing the money to eligible recipients.

Nair said Kok had not been charged in court over the allegations for the past two years, and that “this does not stop her from filing the suit”.

He also told the court that MACC is not required by law to provide the outcome of its investigations.

Ahmad said from his experience as a former MACC officer, the commission does not always provide a response on the outcome of investigations.

“I am allowing the lawyers for the minister to file an affidavit to respond to Jamal’s striking-out application,” he said.

“I have to hear this application before I can proceed with the trial.”

In the meantime, the judge told Jamal and Kok to try and work out a settlement.

The court set June 19 as the tentative date to hear Jamal’s bid to stop the suit pending MACC’s response.

Jamal previously failed to settle the lawsuits by Kok and Science, Climate Change and Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin.

Speaking to reporters outside the court, Kok criticised Jamal’s move to postpone the case.

“When I filed this suit in 2017, he said he welcomed my lawsuit against him.

“Today he has disappeared, and he is wasting all of our time,” she added.

In her lawsuit, Kok claimed Jamal’s statements had tarnished her reputation as a senior politician in DAP and painted her as a corrupt person.

“The accusations by Jamal were baseless as I did not abuse my powers to obtain funds from Yawas,” she said in her statement of claim.

She sought general, aggravated and exemplary damages as well as an injunction against Jamal from publicising further defamatory statements.