KUALA LUMPUR: Minister in the Prime Minister's Department P. Waytha Moorthy (pic) has sued Umno supreme council member Datuk Lokman Noor Adam for allegedly defaming him over the death of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim.
The suit was filed through the law firm Messrs Azri, Lee Swee Seng & Co at the High Court registry here on April 26.
In his statement of claim, Waytha said Lokman had uttered defamatory remarks in his speech during a protest rally held in the city centre in January, which was attended by about 100 people.
The speech, he said, was uploaded onto Lokman's Facebook page and had received 55,000 views, 1,800 likes and 1,658 shares as at April 18.
He said the speech was published in news articles in news portals, websites and other social media platforms.
He claimed that videos of Lokman's speech, which contained the defamatory remarks, were published and uploaded on KiniTV and Sinar TV's YouTube channel, among others, entitled "Beberapa menteri cuba ubah laporan bedah siasat Adib, dakwa Lokman" (Lokman: Several ministers trying to cover up Adib's post-mortem report).
He alleged that articles containing the remarks were also published on news portals Malaysiakini, Suara TV and Minda Rakyat among others entitled "Waytha Moorthy Antara Menteri Minta Ubah Keputusan Bedah Siasat Adib" (Waytha Moorthy among ministers trying to cover up Adib's post-mortem report).
Waytha claimed the speech uttered by Lokman during the rally against him was defamatory, derogatory, slanderous and libellous.
He further contended that the remarks had meant that he was a liar, a dishonest minister with no integrity and that he had tried to manipulate the findings and medical reports relating to Adib's death.
He claimed to have suffered from humiliation, distress, anxiety and ridicule in the eyes of the public and society due to the republication of the statements.
Waytha, who is the Minister of National Unity and Social Wellbeing, sought for general, aggravated and exemplary damages, as well as an injunction to restrain Lokman by himself, agents or through Umno from uttering, publishing and republishing the speech in any media platforms.
In his statement of defence filed on July 3, Lokman denied that his speech was defamatory in nature.
He claimed that his comments were made reasonably and was based on facts.
The case has been fixed for case management on Nov 1 before High Court judge Justice Latifah Mohd Tahar.
Muhammad Adib, 24, who was a member of the emergency medical rescue services at the Subang Jaya Fire and Rescue station, was seriously injured during a riot at the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple on Nov 27,2018.
He passed away on Dec 17 after 21 days at the National Heart Institute.