Liong Sik fails to strike out Najib’s defamation suit

Ling was ordered to pay RM5,000 in costs to Najib. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Ling was ordered to pay RM5,000 in costs to Najib. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

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KUALA LUMPUR, March 16 — Former MCA president Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik’s bid to strike out Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s suit against him over a news portal article claiming the Prime Minister had misused 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds, was dismissed by the High Court today.

Justice Datuk Nor Bee Ariffin ruled in chambers that there was necessity for the issue of locus standi to be tried, that is, whether the plaintiff was suing in his personal capacity or as a public official.

“The judge is following the case of Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob against Utusan Malaysia at the Federal Court in allowing the appeal has ordered the matter to go back to the High Court for trial. She said today that the issue of locus standi in this case is  to be tried,” Najib’s lawyer Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun told reporters.

He said the court also ordered Ling to pay RM5,000 in costs to Najib.

Mohd Hafarizam said another issue to be tried was whether the suit was an abuse of court process.

He said no date had been fixed for the case which would be presided by another judge, Datuk Nordin Hassan, as Nor Bee is currently a Family Court judge.

Meanwhile, Ling’s lawyer Yeoh Cho Kheong said the plaintiff ought to be given a chance and opportunity to be heard in court to ascertain whether he filed the suit in his personal capacity or as a public official.

On Feb 15, 2016, Ling filed the application to strike out Najib’s suit on the grounds that it was an abuse of the court process and did not state a valid reason.

On Oct 27, 2015, Najib sued Ling alleging that the former transport minister had slandered him in an article carried by a news portal on Oct 3, 2015.

In his statement of claim, Najib said Ling falsely and maliciously in his address at an event at a university college here, implied that he had misused public funds for his personal interest.

On July 18, 2016, the court allowed an application by Najib to set aside the affidavit of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that was filed in support of Ling’s application to strike out the suit. — Bernama

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