Court Orders Jamal to Pay RM300K to Maria in Defamation Suit

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The High Court today ordered Sungai Besar UMNO chief Datuk Seri Jamal Md Yunos to pay RM300,000 to former Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah after finding him liable for defaming her by linking Bersih with the Daesh militant group.

Judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Abdul Wahab said the court found that Jamal’s statements clearly referred to Maria Chin, now Petaling Jaya MP, despite the fact that there was no mention of her name.

He said the court also found that the statements made by Jamal were defamatory in nature and had brought about negative impact and tarnished the good name of the MP.

“He also failed to prove the facts of his comments,” said the judge who also ordered Jamal to pay cost of RM40,000 to Maria Chin who was represented by counsels N Surendran and Latheefa Koya.

Jamal was represented by counsels V Mugunthan and Mohammed Nasser Yusof.

Maria Chin filed the defamation suit on Oct 7, 2016, naming Jamal, the Red Shirts or Gerakan Merah Malaysia (GMM) leader, as the defendant for allegedly linking Bersih 2.0 with the Daesh militant group.

In her lawsuit, Maria claimed that Jamal had, on Sept 28, 2016, falsely uttered slanderous words against Bersih during a press conference on the Putra World Trade Centre grounds.

She also claimed that on Oct 4, 2016, Jamal had uttered similar slanderous words against Bersih during a media conference at the Bukit Aman police headquarters compound.

She said the media and news portals later published the statements in print and online.

She had sought general and aggravated damages, as well as an injunction to stop Jamal from uttering or publishing similar words, be it verbally, in print, or online.

Jamal was not in court today but his lawyer Mohammad Naseer told reporters that his client would appeal.

Maria later said the ruling vindicated her and Bersih as they always respected the rule of law and were only advocating for fair elections.

Adib Rawi Yahya/Sunpix

“We had no other ulterior motive as claimed by Jamal,” said Maria.