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Malaysian PM sues news site
Publication Date : 04-06-2014
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has filed a libel suit against online news publisher Mkini Dotcom and two of its editors.
Also named as co-plaintiff in the suit is the United Malays National Organisation party, which is part of the ruling coaltion led by Najib.
Najib is suing in his personal capacity.
The plaintiffs claim that the defendants had allowed the publication of two alleged defamatory articles in the “Yoursay” column of the web portal www.malaysiakini.com on May 14.
In the statement of claim, the plaintiffs claimed that the words in the articles had insinuated that the political party was incompetent, had no integrity, was racist and did not give priority to the welfare of the people.
Najib said the articles had implied that he was an immoral politician, not credible and incompetent as the party president and prime minister.
He said the defendants had allowed the publication of the articles merely to destroy the people’s trust and confidence in him for their own agenda.
The plaintiffs said the comments were unfounded and mere allegations made in bad faith which had put them in public scandal and humiliation.
They said this had caused their reputation to be tarnished as the website was accessible to readers worldwide.
They said they sent a notice of demand to the defendants on May 15 through their solicitors seeking an unconditional apology, retraction of the articles and an undertaking not to publish similar defamatory words as well as damages for loss of reputation.
However, the defendants had replied on May 16 that it was fair comment over a matter of public interest and offered the plaintiffs the right to reply.
They said the defendants had also published another article titled “Najib threatens to sue Mkini over readers’ comments on May 16”.
They said the defendants had compiled the comments on the articles and published another article on May 17, which showed their intention to continuously defame them.
Apart from damages, they are seeking an apology to be published in a newspaper or magazine to be identified by them, on their terms.
In the lawsuit filed on Friday but only made available to the media yesterday, they are applying for an injunction to restrain the defendants or their agents from publishing similar defamatory articles against them in the print media or the Internet.
Mkini Dotcom, its editor-in-chief Steven Gan and its chief editor Fathi Aris Omar were named as defendants.