KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Ahmad Said has been awarded RM230,000 after winning his defamation suit against Batu Burok assemblyman Dr Syed Azman Syed Ahmad Nawawi and three others over an article about him on a contract involving the supply of school uniforms and stationery.
High Court Judicial Commissioner Rosilah Yop granted RM200,000 to the Terengganu Mentri Besar in general and exemplary damages and RM30,000 in costs.
Rosilah also granted an injunction to restrain the defendants from further publishing defamatory words against him.
However, two other plaintiffs – businessmen Mek Hawa Abdul Rahman and Hamie Azreen Ami Nordin – failed to prove their claim against the defendants.
Ahmad sued Dr Syed Azman, Harakah permit owner Datuk Mustafa @ Hassan Ali, its chief editor Ahmad Lutfi Othman and printer Angkatan Edaran Enterprise Sdn Bhd for implying in the article that the state government had mismanaged the school uniform and stationery supply contract.
Speaking to reporters here, Ahmad’s lawyer Helmi Hamzah said the award was given to the Mentri Besar who sued the parties in his official capacity.
“The court held that the Mentri Besar had proven his defamatory claim against the defendants,” he said.
The Mentri Besar’s special officer, Mohd Khomsa Chik, said that Ahmad also succeeded in getting an injunction to prevent all the defendants, whether through themselves or their agents, from continuously publishing libellous words from the offending article in Harakah.
The defendants’ counsel Azhana Mohd Khairudin, who confirmed the court ruling, said Mek Hawa and Hamie’s claim was dismissed with costs of RM30,000.
“The judge ruled that the words are defamatory against the Mentri Besar and the defence of fair comment and qualified privilege are not applicable to Mek Hawa and Hamie,” Azhana added.
In the suit, the plaintiffs said Dr Syed Azman had written a defamatory article linking them, adding that it was published in Harakah’s Nov 11-13, 2011 edition.
In the statement of claim filed on Dec 15, 2011, they said the article implied that the state government and its Mentri Besar had wrongfully gained profits from the school uniform and stationery aid programme.