MCA concerned over implications of apex court ruling on defamation

PETALING JAYA: The MCA is concerned by the Federal Court ruling that political parties cannot sue an individual for defamation, as it may have far-reaching implications for similar cases in the future.

Describing it as a “landmark judgment”, the party’s legal affairs bureau chief Datuk Tay Puay Chuan (pic) said any individual may now randomly hurl baseless accusations against any political party without running the risk of being accused of defamation.

“This scenario will thus pose a huge challenge to all political parties in the future, including the Kepong MP’s own party, ” he said, referring to Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng from DAP.

Since a political party is now prevented from suing an individual for defamation, Tay said, the public should carefully filter all allegations by individuals against a political party, and not be hoodwinked by uncorroborated statements.

The Federal Court had on Thursday (March 4) allowed an appeal by Lim to strike out a defamation suit filed by MCA in 2017.

The seven-member bench ruled that political parties cannot sue an individual for defamation.

Tay noted that MCA respects the apex court’s decision.

However, he said it should be pointed out that Lim won on a technicality and not on the merits of the case.

“He must provide evidence to back up his allegations against MCA.

“Whoever asserts must be able to prove, ” he said, adding that MCA retains its stance that Lim’s allegations at that time were completely false and slanderous.

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