A defamation suit filed by the founder of an e-commerce firm against Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng is to proceed as mediation to settle the matter out of court has fizzled out.
The mediation effort failed as Lim declined to offer an apology in court, which would allow the suit to be withdrawn, said Harpal Singh Grewal, representing businesswoman Jessy Lai and her company MonSpace (M) Sdn Bhd.
The case will be heard over three days from July 4.
Lim’s lawyer Guok Ngek Seong said Lim was not prepared to apologise on the basis that Lai and her company had been convicted of an offence under the anti-money laundering and anti-pyramid scheme law, and had allegedly been fined RM9 million.
However, Harpal said his client’s offences were only compounded.
Guok said Lim wanted Lai to withdraw her suit with no costs as his statements were justified. Lim would also rely on the defence of fair comment and qualified privilege.
Lai had filed the suit in June 2019, claiming that Lim’s statements had tarnished her reputation and that of her company by claiming that she was running an illegal business and had cheated Chinese investors.
She said the MP’s statements, published in the English and Chinese media, had implied that she was a dishonest person.
Lai said Lim had made the statements in May 2017 and November 2018 when he took a group of individuals, purportedly MonSpace’s investors, to her office and subsequently lodged police reports against her.
She claimed that Lim’s statements had stirred up pressure from the authorities such as the police, Bank Negara Malaysia and the domestic trade and consumer affairs ministry to take action against her.
Lai is seeking an unspecified amount in damages from Lim.
More than 70 Chinese nationals had lodged police reports on a “misleading” investment scheme run by MonSpace then. – FMT