Sungai Besar Umno division head Datuk Seri Jamal Md Yunos on Tuesday (March 2) apologised to former minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Yeo Bee Yin to settle a defamation suit in relation to Yayasan Warisan Anak Selangor (Yawas) funds.
Jamal, 50, read out his statement of apology at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex compound.
Today and Thursday were scheduled for the hearing of the suit at the High Court before Judge Datuk Rozana Ali Yusoff, but both parties agreed to settle it through a consent judgement.
“I now acknowledge that YB Yeo Bee Yin is an honest and transparent person in managing Skim Mesra Usia Emas money.
“I would like to apologise to YB Yeo Bee Yin for my mistake. I’m sorry, YB Yeo Bee Yin,” he said.
Earlier, Judge Rozana recorded the consent judgement and thanked the parties involved for agreeing to settle out of court.
“Today we have reached a solution, so the court has recorded the agreement. The court also thanked the parties because this case has dragged on for some time, as in the current movement control order, the court has to prioritise old cases,” she said.
Based on the draft judgement, Jamal, as the defendant represented by lawyer Mohammed Nasser Yusof, had to apologise to Yeo as the plaintiff in front of all journalists and photographers in the compound of the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex today.
The defendant, his agents or workers are barred from further uttering, writing, publishing or disseminating the said defamatory speech.
Jamal is also prohibited from uttering, writing, publishing or disseminating words that are said to be defamatory as in the amended statement of claims on June 16, 2017, or words that have the same effect on the plaintiff or statements that can be considered defamatory.
The consent judgement cannot be binding and applied to the defendant by any other party having a similar suit against Jamal. It is also without order as to costs.
Yeo filed the suit on June 14, 2017, demanding damages of RM5 million from Jamal for his allegedly defamatory statement regarding the issue of misappropriation of Yawas funds.
The statement of claim by Yeo, who is also the Bakri MP, claimed that Jamal had issued the statement on March 21, 2017, and that it was published by several newspapers, news portals and on the defendant’s Facebook.
Yeo claimed that the statement, among others, gave the impression that she had misused public funds and was unethical and untrustworthy.
When met outside the court, lawyer Datuk Sankara N Nair, representing Yeo who did not attend the proceedings, said there is a general imputation in law that all persons are of good repute until otherwise proved, and reputation is, therefore, a valuable commodity to all.
He said the public apology by Jamal meant that the appalling episode which had cast a taint on his client’s untarnished reputation had now been removed.
“It is irrefutable that my client’s character and reputation are impeccable. She is fully vindicated,” he said.