Seputeh MP Teresa Kok followed through today with her threat to sue Selangor PAS Youth chief Syarhan Humaizi Abdul Halim for defamation after he ignored previous demands for an apology and retraction.
Kok’s lawyers filed the lawsuit with the Kuala Lumpur High Court today.
In her statement of claim, Kok accused Syarhan of posting an allegedly derogatory and defamatory article titled ‘Ucapan YB Ustaz Khalil Benar: DAP Jangan Kurang Ajar’ on his Facebook page on January 19, 2019.
The offending article references another allegedly defamatory article titled ‘Teresa Kok Tidak Setuju Islam Agama Rasmi Persekutuan’, which Kok said included false and libellous claims that she was anti-Islam, racist, bigoted, extremist, and a criminal.
She further asserted that the contents portray her as dishonest and untrustworthy, unethical unfit for a Cabinet position, and to have abused her post as minister.
Kok’s lawyers previously issued a letter of demand to Syarhan on January 23 seeking a public apology and retraction of the offending articles and remarks.
The writ filed today did not state the sum sought in terms of general and compensatory damages, but the previous letter of demand included a claim for RM30 million in reparations.
Kok is also seeking an injunction to stop Syarhan from further publishing articles accusing her of being anti-Islam.
The alleged defamatory remarks were made by Syarhan on Facebook as well as on the Malaysia Today website on Jan 12 and 19 this year.
“The allegations made by the defendant in the impugned publications are wholly incorrect, extreme and cruel,” said Kok in her notice of demand.
In his article, Syarhan had criticised DAP for having their own agenda against Islam, and he had referred to an article published in Malaysia Today which had labelled Kok as being against Islam as the official religion of Malaysia.
Kok’s statement of claim stated that the articles were bereft of truth, motivated by malice and calculated to tarnish her good name and character.
Kok also said Syarhan, in his reply to her demand letter, had said he would rely on the defence of fair comment in posting his article.