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Published: Friday February 21, 2014 MYT 5:23:00 PM
Updated: Friday February 21, 2014 MYT 5:28:06 PM

Bakri MP and Tangkak rep defeat defamation suit against them

KUALA LUMPUR: A businesswoman lost her case against Bakri MP Er Teck Hwa and Tangkak assemblyman Ee Chin Li for defaming her in a Chinese daily and a Facebook posting.

High Court judge Justice Hue Siew Kheng said that she agreed that the publications had conveyed that the businesswoman Ong Bing Hong, 45, was a quarrelsome, hot-tempered and unreasonable person.

"The words are defamatory of the plaintiff," she said in her ruling.

However, Justice Hue ruled that the defence of justification and fair comment was applicable for the DAP parliamentarian and assemblyman in the case.

"I do not accept that the plaintiff went to give a motivational talk at the cemetery in the morning," she said in dismissing the claim.

She ordered the direct sales businesswoman to pay RM10,000 in costs to each defendant.

In her suit, Ong, who is also the president of Direct Sales Association of Malaysia, said that both defendants had caused the lodging of two police reports at the Kota Tinggi police station on Sept 11, 2012 defaming her.

Ong said that both defendants had authorised the publication of defamatory words against her in Chinese newpaper Kwong Wah Yit Poh on Sept 12, 2012.

She said Er had later also posted the contents of his press release on his Facebook.

Among others, Ong said the words had implied that she was rude and had disrupted the peace of the people who were holding a prayer ceremony at a cemetery.

In her amended claim filed on Jan 23, 2013, she sought RM1.5mil each in damages from Er and Ee, who is also Johor DAP Youth secretary.

She wanted an injunction to restrain the defendants from further publishing defamatory remarks against her.

The defendants, however, said in their court papers that they witnessed the incident on Aug 19, 2012 where Ong and a group of people came to the Chinese cemetery at Telok Empang in Johor where a group of supporters of Gabungan NGO Pengerang were camped and created a commotion there.

They said that the NGO was holding an overnight camp to protest the Government's decision to acquire the Chinese cemetery to set up a petro chemical plant in Tanjung Pengerang, Johor.

Ong was represented by lawyer Chan Tse Yuen while counsel N.S.Guok appeared for the defendants.

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