KUALA LUMPUR, April 18 — PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar won today a defamation suit against retired top policeman Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar and Umno’s Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
The High Court also awarded her a total of RM1 million in damages, ordering former inspector-general of police Khalid to pay RM400,000 while Ismail, the caretaker rural and regional development minister, must pay RM600,000.
Judicial Commissioner Datuk Faizah Jamaludin said the court found that both Khalid and Ismail had defamed Nurul Izzah at two separate functions in 2015 concerning the incumbent Lembah Pantai MP’s meeting with Filipina Jacel Kiram who was a member of a group that had planned to go to war against Malaysia.
“The statements in its natural and ordinary meaning had defamed the plaintiff,” Faizah said in her ruling.
She said the statements conveyed to the ordinary reasonable man that in meeting Jacel, Nurul Izzah was a terrorist and had committed treason by declaring war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
“In my opinion, the statements made had caused adverse opinions against the plaintiff, and the words used would lower the opinion of her among reasonable members of society.
“It had also exposed the plaintiff to hatred, ridicule, and contempt of the ordinary Malaysian."
Faizah explained both statements had expressed evidence of malice towards the plaintiff, elaborating that this was shown in their failure to clarify the facts or seek an explanation from Nurul Izzah over the visit.
She then pointed out the defendants were not ordinary men on the street when they made the statements.
“They were the head of the country’s police force, and a minister of Cabinet.
“It would not be unreasonable for the ordinary man hearing or reading the statements to assume they speak of authority, truth and knowledge,” she said.
Commissioner Faizah also granted Nurul Izzah an injunction order against any future publications concerning the statements in question.
“An injunction is granted to the plaintiff in restraining further publications and broadcasting of these statements or any similar of the defamatory matters,” she said.
Nurul Izzah’s lead counsel was incumbent Subang MP Sivarasah Rasiah.
Khalid and Ismail were absent from today’s court proceedings but were represented by senior federal counsel Normastura Ayub and Zureen Elina Mohd Dom
Outside court, Nurul Izzah said she was thankful after being vindicated by the court, adding that a sum from the damages would be channeled to the families of servicemen killed in Lahad Datu.
“I would to set aside a substantial amount pending the decision at the appeal court level, for the families of the fallen heroes in Lahad Datu.
She added that the decision should act as a reminder to other leaders and people in power.
“It is fine to disagree on certain policies and positions, but to slander and utilise sordid allegations against one another is unbecoming,” she said.