KUALA LUMPUR: Oct 9, 2008
Seputeh Member of Parliment Teresa Kok Suh Sim has filed a RM30mil 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 on Thursday, through law firm, S. N. Nair & Partner.
In her statement of claim, Teresa, who is also Selangor senior state executive council member, claimed that the article headlined Azan, Jawi, Jais, UiTM dan baalifbaya, published in its newspaper on Sept 1, 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.
Teresa, 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.
Teresa, 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.
Teresa said that on Sept 15, through her lawyer, she demanded from the defendants, a retraction, apology and damages but was refused.
She is seeking RM30mil 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