KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 28 — Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM) president Datuk Azwanddin Hamzah has agreed to apologise and pay RM40,000 to Deputy Defence Minister Senator Liew Chin Tong for his defamatory remarks on the latter’s “communist uniform”.
A consent judgment by High Court Judge Azimah Omar today recorded that Liew and Azwanddin had agreed to the settlement and the latter had to issue an apology within 14 days of the judgment.
The apology refers to a Facebook posting and article written by Azwanddin in late October and early November last year titled “Kementerian Pertahanan kini berada dalam tekanan dan ancaman” where he alleged that the deputy minister intentionally wore a “communist uniform” to a military event.
“I wish to state that the allegation made by me against Liew Chin Tong in the statement are without basis and untrue and hereby unequivocally apologise for the issuance,” read the apology.
The defendant is given 14 days from the date of judgment to apologise in six websites and news portals — Malaysiakini, Free Malaysia Today, The Star Online, Utusan Online, the JMM website, and his own Facebook page.
He was also ordered to pay the RM40,000 to Liew within 90 days.
Liew tweeted the judgment earlier today, along with a photo of him and Azwanddin shaking hands in the High Court building.
“Settled! Datuk Azwanddin has admitted his statement about me was without basis and has apologised in a consent judgement in KL High Court just now. Thank you to my lawyer Ramkarpal,” he said, referring to lawyer Ramkarpal Singh.
Azwanddin was represented by lawyer Sarah Abishegam.
Azwanddin was also ordered never to repeat any such defamatory statements against Liew in the future.
Liew filed a defamation suit against Azwanddin on December 27, seeking RM20 million in general and exemplary damages, as well as an injunction restraining Azwanddin from publishing similar articles.