KUALA LUMPUR: A multi-level marketing firm has lost its defamation suit against PPP president Datuk Seri M. Kayveas and three others.
Melilea (M) Sdn Bhd, the sole importer and distributor of health and beauty products under the registered trademark of “Melilea”, had also sued The News Straits Times Press (M) Bhd (NSTP), its then group editor-in-chief Datuk Seri Kalimullah Hassan, Malay Mail reporter Jad Mahidin, and product distributors Chong Kok Leong, Yoon Peik Chin and Ong Kean Swan.
Melilea stated that NSTP, Kalimullah, Jad and Chong had falsely and maliciously published two libellous articles against it in the Sunday Mail on March 20, 2005, implying that it cheated its distributors of their legitimate bonuses and commissions.
It also sued Kayveas, who was then Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, for an alleged slanderous statement against the company in the Malay Mail the following day which implied that it was guilty of grave misconduct.
In dismissing the lawsuit, High Court judge Rosilah Yop held that Melilea had no case against Kayveas, NSTP, Kalimullah or Jad.
Senior Federal Counsel Mohammad Al-Saifi Hashim told reporters that the judge had allowed for judgment in default against Chong and Yoon for failing to file their statements of defence.
“However, the plaintiff won the case against Ong on the merits of the case. He also did not attend court and was unrepresented,” said Moham-mad, who acted for Kayveas.
He said Justice Rosilah had accepted Kayveas’ defence of qualified privilege on a matter of public interest as he was in charge of the Public Complaints Bureau then.
In his statement of defence filed on April 22, 2008, Kayveas said he had merely confirmed that there were several complaints and police reports lodged against the company.