Hannah Yeoh to file fresh defamation suit against Musa Hassan after technical issues

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Musa allegedly told a forum that an unnamed group had tried to destroy Islam in the country and he was said to have found links between the group and DAP.

DAP’s Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh will be filing a fresh defamation suit against former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan over his remarks in a January 2020 forum, after the defamation suit she had already filed was struck out over technical matters.

Earlier today in a case management, High Court judge Rozana Ali Yusoff had struck out the lawsuit due to technicalities involving the filing of certain pre-trial documents and with no order as to costs, but with Yeoh given the liberty to refile the defamation lawsuit.

When contacted, Yeoh’s lawyer Lim Wei Jiet clarified that the striking out of the defamation lawsuit was purely on technical reasons.

“The case was struck out but only on a technicality — and we are allowed to file afresh, so there really is no prejudice to the parties.

“It does not in any way mean Musa Hassan has succeeded against Hannah Yeoh in any way whatsoever in the defamation suit,” he said.

Lim explained that Yeoh’s legal team was unable to file the documents in court, due to issues with obtaining the required consent from Musa’s lawyer.

“The reason we could not file some documents was that we needed the consent of the defendant’s lawyer, and even though these documents were sent in advance beforehand, there was no consent forthcoming from the defendant.

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“And the defendant’s lawyer in charge had some personal emergency the last few days, which made it even more difficult for consent to be obtained. Unfortunately, the judge did not accept such an explanation and decided the way it did,” he said.

Lim said the legal team had received instructions to file a fresh lawsuit as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, the defendant’s lawyer Mohd Khairul Azam Abdul Aziz said the suit was struck out without an order for costs and confirmed that Yeoh could refile it if she wished.

Previously, Rozanna had ordered the case to proceed for a full hearing after the court turned down Musa’s bid to annul the lawsuit.

Yeoh sued Musa last year over his allegation that she tried to turn Malaysia into a Christian nation. She claimed the statement was made at a forum at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) on Jan 30, 2020.

Musa, who was the IGP from 2006 to 2010, allegedly told the forum that an unnamed group had tried to destroy Islam in the country. He was said to have found links between the group and DAP.

He was also alleged to have said Yeoh had written a book “to make this country a Christian country”.

On July 3 last year, Yeoh filed the defamation action against Musa.

On Feb 5 last year, it was reported that Musa was being probed by the police over the speech given at the forum at UiTM.

The forum titled “Wacana Isu Semasa Perjanjian Damai Hat Yai 1989: PKM Menyerah Diri?” (The Hat Yai Peace Accords: Did the Communist Party of Malaya surrender?) was organised by UiTM’s Institute of Malay Rulers.

According to a copy of the suit’s statement of claim, Yeoh claimed that the speech contained defamatory statements that are wholly untrue, disparaging, vexatious, spurious, fallacious and without basis.

She contended that the defendant’s speech was premeditated, made in bad faith, and actuated by malice on the latter’s part to harm, tarnish, malign, injure and/or destroy her reputation in the perception of the public, and intended to harm her politically, among others.

Yeoh is seeking general, aggravated and exemplary damages.

She seeks an injunction to restrain Musa, whether by himself, his servants or agents, from further uttering, publishing, causing to be uttered and/or causing to be published the allegedly defamatory words.

She also seeks costs and any other relief deemed fit by the court.