Federal Court’s ruling will affect all political parties, says MCA

PETALING JAYA: The landmark judgment stating that political parties cannot sue an individual for defamation may have far-reaching implications in similar future cases, says the MCA.

In expressing its concerns, the party’s legal affairs bureau chief Datuk Tay Puay Chuan (pic) said it might open the floodgates to any individual to randomly hurl baseless accusations against any political party without running the risk of being accused of defamation.

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

Since a political party would now be prevented from suing a person for defamation, Tay said that the public should carefully filter out all allegations spouted by individuals against any political party, and not be easily misled by unsupported statements.

Yesterday, the Federal Court allowed an appeal by Lim to strike out a defamation suit filed by the MCA in 2017.

The seven-member bench had ruled that political parties could not sue an individual for defamation.

Tay said the MCA respected the apex court’s decision.

However, he said that Lim won on a technicality and not on the merits of the case.

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

“Those who assert must be able to prove, ” Tay said, adding that the MCA maintained its stance that Lim’s allegations at that time were completely false and plain slander.

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