Trip to New Zealand: Former deputy FT minister Santhara Kumar files defamation suit against Batu MP

Datuk Seri Santhara Kumar, 50, as the plaintiff filed the suit in the High Court through Messrs N. Krishnan Nair & Co on June 23, naming P. Prabkaran, 25, as the sole defendant. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Datuk Seri Santhara Kumar, 50, as the plaintiff filed the suit in the High Court through Messrs N. Krishnan Nair & Co on June 23, naming P. Prabkaran, 25, as the sole defendant. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 — Segamat MP Datuk Seri Santhara Kumar has filed a suit against Batu MP P. Prabkaran for allegedly uttering defamatory words in connection with the former deputy federal territories minister’s visit to New Zealand.

Santhara Kumar, 50, as the plaintiff filed the suit in the High Court here through Messrs N. Krishnan Nair & Co on June 23, naming Prabkaran, 25, as the sole defendant.

Based on the statement of claim, the plaintiff claimed that the defendant had held a press conference outside the New Zealand High Commission on March 17 between 9.30am and 2pm by issuing untrue and false information on the plaintiff’s responsibilities as a deputy minister.

The plaintiff claimed that the defendant or his representative had submitted a memorandum to the New Zealand High Commission criticising the approval and permission given to the plaintiff to visit New Zealand and the defendant also contacted officials at the embassy to find out personal information and plaintiff’s permission to enter the country.

The former deputy federal territories minister claimed that the defamatory statements meant that the plaintiff had trespassed and entered New Zealand illegally without complying with and respecting the country’s laws and the authorities should take appropriate action against the plaintiff.

Santhara Kumar also claimed that Prabkaran had attended a press conference on May 28, informing the public that the defendant received a legal notice from the plaintiff’s solicitors and criticised and accused the plaintiff of bullying, being unfair and intimidating the defendant as a young politician.

The plaintiff applied for an injunction to restrain him or his agents from further issuing the alleged defamatory statements.

The plaintiff is seeking exemplary, aggravated and compensatory damages and for a statement of apology and retraction to be published in three local newspapers in Malay, English and Tamil and uploaded on the defendant’s Facebook and YouTube accounts.

Meanwhile, through a statement of defence filed on September 8, Prabkaran claimed that the statements he issued did not have any malicious intent to tarnish the image or reputation of the plaintiff.

The case is set for case management on October 13. — Bernama

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