KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here Tuesday dismissed an application by the Port Klang Authority (PKA) to set aside a defamation suit filed by Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd over the publication of a controversial PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services Sdn Bhd auditing report in relation to the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) issue.
Justice Datin Zabariah Mohd Yusof ruled that all the issues raised in the main suit required a proper trial.
After hearing submissions from both parties in her chambers for about two hours, she dismissed PKA's application with RM15,000 costs and ordered the matter to go for a full trial.
She set Nov 22 for case management before a High Court deputy registrar.
Kuala Dimensi counsel N. Nahendran told reporters that the court was not satisfied with the defendant's submission that the disclosure of the report was not defamatory or was of qualified privillege and there was no malice in their action.
Kuala Dimensi, the turnkey developer for the PKFZ project, filed the suit on July 1 last year, claiming the report contained various allegations which were highly damaging to its reputation and trade.
In the suit, Kuala Dimensi did not state the actual amount of compensation sought from PKA.
In the statement of claim, the company stated the audited report of PricewaterhouseCoopers, among others, had implied that the company allegedly had overcharged for the works it carried out at PKFZ and had failed to be careful in carrying out its responsiblity, as expected of the firm.
The plaintiff also claimed that by choosing to publish the audited report of PricewaterhouseCoopers, the defendant intended to invite public scrutiny of the decision to appoint Kuala Dimensi as the main developer and contractor.
Kuali Dimensi, thus, is seeking exemplary and aggravated damages from the defendant on the grounds that the report raised several other issues, which led the public to have a wrong impression of the firm.
Further, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant deliberately framed allegations against Kuala Dimensi, without giving any chance to the company to make its defence over the publication of the report.
During Tuesday's proceedings, PKA was represented by Leong Wai Hong. - Bernama