Court dismisses suit by ex-AG special officer against Rewcastle-Brown on technical grounds

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here has dismissed a defamation suit filed by former attorney general Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali’s special officer, Mabel Sheela Mutthiah against Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown.

The suit was related to three articles published in Sarawak Report, including one titled "How AG's Office connived to prevent a second post-mortem on Kevin Morais - Exclusive Expose".

Judicial commissioner Datuk Raja Ahmad Mohzanuddin Shah Raja Mohzan made the decision after finding that the plaintiff (Mabel) failed to translate the alleged defamatory articles into Malay.

"In my opinion, the requirement for complete pleadings in Bahasa Melayu is tritely attributed to the language's supremacy as a national language. In this regard, the relevant provisions are enshrined in Article 152 of the Federal Constitution as well as Section 8 of the National Language Act 1963/67 and Order 92 Rule 1 of the Rules of Court 2012,” he said.

Raja Ahmad Mohzanuddin also noted that although the plaintiff drew inferences regarding the true meaning of the defamatory articles, there was still no certified translation of the defamatory articles into Malay.

"On this sole basis, I am therefore constrained to hold that the defect is so fundamental that it is not permissible for me to allow the plaintiff's claim," he added.- Bernama

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