KUALA LUMPUR, April 29 — Teresa Kok’s lawyer SN Nair told the High Court today that Umno leader Jamal Yunos had filed an application to strike out the primary industries minister’s lawsuit against him over alleged misuse of Yayasan Warisan Anak Selangor (Yawas) funds.
High Court judge Datuk Ahmad Bache then allowed a slightly frustrated-looking Teresa Kok to approach his seat and address the court.
Despite having work commitments in the senate, Kok said she attended the hearing today because its date had been set months ago, while pointing out that Jamal did not show up.
“I would appreciate it if maybe you could deliver a decision today, so we can save all the man-hours from his (Jamal) lawyers and my lawyers,” Kok said.
One of the lawyers representing Jamal, Nasser Yusof, later told Malay Mail that their client had last Thursday filed the application to strike out the lawsuit under Order 18, rule 19 of the Rules of Court 2012 and convert it into a stay of proceedings, pending the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigation results on Kok.
The other lawyer representing Jamal, V. Mugunthan, had earlier said in High Court that Jamal wishes to annul the lawsuit as there was no outcome from the MACC probe into Kok regarding allegations that she and other DAP leaders had misappropriated funds from Yawas.
However, according to Judge Ahmad, who was speaking from his experience as a former MACC officer, the commission does not always provide a response on the outcome of their investigations.
Ahmad said: “I am allowing the lawyers for the minister to file an affidavit to respond to Jamal’s striking-out application.”
He then set June 19 as the date to hear Jamal’s application to postpone the suit, besides advising Jamal and Kok to try negotiating a settlement.
After the hearing, Kok slammed Jamal for wasting her witnesses and lawyers’ time by not showing up.
Referring to Jamal’s 2017 statements, which Kok claimed had implied that she embezzled public funds, the minister said: “And today, the person that threw these accusations (at me), he disappeared. He dare not come for the hearing, what does this mean?”
“So I find that Jamal bukan orang jantan (is not ‘man’ enough). (He) dares to make accusations but then disappears when it comes to court, when it comes to facing the judge,” Kok said.
Meanwhile, Nasser indicated that the MACC probe outcome, which might be favourable to Jamal or Kok, will affect the lawsuit proceedings, as a favourable outcome for Jamal would mean that “there were no defamatory words from my client to Teresa Kok, because we will assert that what Jamal said was justified.”
Regarding Jamal’s no-show at court today, he explained that Jamal was warded at Ampang Puteri Specialist Hospital a week ago and the Umno leader had received a two-week medical chit.
Nasser also added that it is not compulsory by law for a defendant to attend a defamation suit, although it would have been advisable for him to turn up as he could assist his lawyers by verifying the information presented during the hearing.