Apex court dismisses Synergy Promenade bid to reinstate suit against former Muar MP

On March 13, 2019, the Kuala Lumpur High Court allowed Datuk Seri Razali Ibrahim’s application to strike out the suit, ruling that the statement by Razali was not defamatory. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
On March 13, 2019, the Kuala Lumpur High Court allowed Datuk Seri Razali Ibrahim’s application to strike out the suit, ruling that the statement by Razali was not defamatory. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

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PUTRAJAYA, Aug 11 ― The Federal Court today rejected Synergy Promenade Sdn Bhd (SPSB)’s application for leave to appeal over its RM100 million defamation suit against former Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Razali Ibrahim relating to his statement on the company’s involvement in the Kuala Lumpur Vertical City Project (KLVC) at Jalan Semarak.

SPSB, as the applicant, had sought leave in its bid to reinstate the suit which was struck out by the High Court and the decision subsequently upheld by the Court of Appeal.

Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat who chaired a three-member bench comprising Federal Court judges Datuk Vernon Ong Lam Kiat and Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli, unanimously dismissed the applicant’s application with RM30,000 costs.

“We are not satisfied that the applicant (SPSB) has met the requirement under Section 96 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 (for leave to be granted). We, therefore dismiss the applicant’s application,” said Justice Tengku Maimun at a virtual proceeding today.

The panel made the ruling after hearing submissions from SPSB’s counsel Annou Xavier and Brian Ernest Cumming, representing Razali, who is also the former Member of Parliament for Muar in Johor.

On March 13, 2019, the Kuala Lumpur High Court allowed Razali’s application to strike out the suit, ruling that the statement by Razali was not defamatory.

On March 24 this year, the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal brought by SPSB and affirmed the decision of the High Court.

Razali filed the application to strike out the suit in October 2018 on grounds that there was no reasonable cause of action for the property developer to sue him.

SPSB filed the suit on July 16 2018, claiming that Razali had issued several false and baseless statements on the company’s involvement in the KLVC project at Jalan Semarak in Kuala Lumpur and that the action had tarnished the company’s reputation.

The company had sought RM100 million in damages and an apology as well as an injunction to prevent Razali from further repeating and/or publishing the defamatory statements. ― Bernama

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