KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has ordered a social media user who is embroiled in a defamation lawsuit brought by FashionValet co-founder and entrepreneur Datin Vivy Yusof to file their statement of defence in 14 days.
Lawyer Mohd Syakirin Shazwan, who is representing the 28-year-old defendant, told this to the media after case management in the chambers of Justice Rohani Ismail here on Wednesday (Oct 7).
“The lawsuit has been served on the defendant and therefore, the court has ordered us to file our statement of defence in 14 days from today,” he said when met after proceedings ended.
Syakirin also said the defendant had filed a memorandum of appearance on Monday (Oct 5) and it had been served on Vivy’s lawyer.
Vivy was represented by lawyer Pauling Hee.
The case has been fixed for further case management on Jan 4 next year.
On June 15, Vivy sued the defendant for allegedly defaming her on social media in relation to the government’s financial relief for B40 and M40 groups.
The 33-year-old fashion icon filed the suit through law firm Messrs Foong Cheng Leong & Co.
In her statement of claim, Vivy said she published an “IGTV” video on her Instagram account of a conversation between four entrepreneurs.
The conversation was about the economic status during the pandemic, the movement control order and the economic stimulus package announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
The video was later censured by her Instagram followers and she deleted it within hours of publishing.
Vivy claimed the defendant — on the latter’s Facebook and Instagram accounts — made statements that wrongly accused her of questioning the government’s initiative in providing aid to the B40 and M40 groups when they were making no contributions to the country.
She claimed never to have uttered words that questioned the government’s initiative and the defendant’s alleged defamatory statements meant to say that she had insulted and belittled the two groups, that she was not sympathetic and did not care about those who were affected by Covid-19.
Vivy further claimed that the statements posted by the defendant were made with malice and had gone viral on social media.
As a result, she claimed her personal and professional reputation as a member of the Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) board of directors was badly affected.
She also claimed the defendant’s statements had caused other Internet users to openly insult, attack, censure and condemn her.
On April 2, the plaintiff said a letter of demand was issued to the defendant, where one of the demands was for the defendant to stop publishing any defamatory statements against her on social media.
Vivy claimed the defendant had replied to the letter through Facebook but failed to comply with all the demands.
Apart from general, aggravated and exemplary damages, Vivy is seeking a court order for the defendant to take down the statements as well as to issue an apology.
She is also seeking interest, costs, and other reliefs deemed fit by the court.