KUALA LUMPUR, 9 Oct 2008: Seputeh Member of Parliment Teresa Kok Suh Sim has filed a RM30 million defamation suit against Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd and its editor over the publication of an article on ‘azan’ (call for prayers) last month.
The writ of summons was filed at the Civil High Court registry in the Jalan Duta Court Complex today, through law firm, S N Nair & Partner.
In her statement of claim, Kok, who is also Selangor senior state executive council member, claimed that the article headlined Azan, Jawi, Jais, UiTM dan ba-alif-ba-ya, published in its newspaper on 1 Sept 2008, meant that she was untrustworthy, a bad politician, racist and anti-Islam.
She claimed that the defamatory article was also understood to mean that she was also an intolerant, chauvinistic politician who had committed a criminal offence which was punishable with imprisonment.
Kok, 44, said the defendants published the article in question with the knowledge and/or with the intention that the gist of the article would be republished in the local and international media, both electronic and the press.
Kok, who was arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for seven days following the issue, said the defamatory article was republished and disseminated and circulated in Malaysia and to the world, through Utusan’s online services.
She said as a result, her reputation was gravely injured and also caused irreparable damage to the character, credit and reputation, both nationally and internationally.
She claimed that she was also brought into public scandal, odium and contempt and that she suffered considerable distress, anxiety and embarrassment, entitling her to seek aggravated and exemplary damages.
Kok said that on 15 Sept, through her lawyer, she demanded from the defendants, a retraction, apology and damages but was refused.
She is seeking RM30 million in general damages, aggravated damages, exemplary damages, as well as an injunction to restrain the defendants or their agents, from repeating the defamatory words, interest, costs and any relief deemed proper by the court. — Bernama