The High Court here today struck out the defamation suit filed by two DAP MPs against Pasir Salak MP Tajuddin Abdul Rahman over his claim that they were trying to turn Malaysia into a republic.
Lawyer Farhan Haziq Mohamed, who appeared for Seremban MP Loke Siew Fook and Damansara MP Tony Pua, said judicial commissioner Latifah Mohd Tahar allowed Tajuddin’s application as the duo did not show that the defendant had published the defamatory statement.
“We will take instruction from our clients on whether to appeal or file a fresh suit since we are within time,” he told reporters.
Farhan added that the judge had not ordered for costs to be paid to Tajuddin.
In a defamation suit, it must be shown that a defendant caused the slander or libel in question and was responsible for its publication.
Tajuddin’s lawyer, Hasnal Rezua Merican, said in court last week that the suit lacked particulars as Loke, who is the transport minister, and Pua, who is the political secretary to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, did not plead that his client had published the defamatory statement.
Loke and Pua filed the suit against Tajuddin over a speech he made at Kampung Jawa on the eve of the Sungai Kandis by-election on Aug 3 last year.
They said Tajuddin’s speech was reported on the same night in a news portal with the heading: “Tajuddin fires ‘Christian DAP’ salvo to close BN’s Sg Kandis campaign”.
In their statement of claim filed on March 21, they said they were not Christians as claimed by Tajuddin.
They also said Tajuddin had alleged that Lim, Loke, Pua and Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh would use politics as a platform to spread the Christian faith.
They said Tajuddin had also claimed that they wanted to establish a system of government like Singapore’s where there is no king, sultan or agong.
They said Tajuddin’s statement gave the impression that they were using their positions as MPs and in the government to advance their political agenda.
Loke and Pua applied for an injunction to stop Tajuddin from publishing the defamatory words in traditional and social media, as well as an apology.
They also sought general, aggravated and exemplary damages, costs and other reliefs deemed fit by the court.
Tajuddin was exempted from filing his defence pending the outcome of the striking-out application.