Felda wins defamation suit against Wan Azizah, two others

KUALA LUMPUR: The Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) and its investment company have won a defamation suit against PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and two others.

High Court Judicial Commissioner Kamaludin Md Said held that Felda as a statutory body had the right to sue the parties under Section 15 (1) of the Land Development Act 1956.

“There is a statutory provision for the plaintiff (Felda) on the right to sue. Therefore, Felda can institute the civil proceedings (against the defendants). It can sue to protect its reputation,” he said after dismissing the preliminary issue raised in the matter.

Judicial Commissioner Kamaludin said Felda is entitled to enter judgment on liability in the civil dispute.

“Only Parliament, and not the court, can take away those rights (to sue),” he said.

JC Kamaludin ordered a senior assistant registrar to assess costs as well as aggravated and exemplary damages to be awarded to the plaintiffs for libel and malicious falsehood.

JC Kamaludin also granted an injunction to restrain the defendants from repeating the defamatory words.

“Apology is not allowed,” he added.

The defendants’ lead counsel Francis Pereira said that his clients had on Sept 30 admitted liability in respect of two defamatory articles.

Felda was represented by lead counsel Datuk Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin and lawyer Cheng Mai.

Felda had on Aug 16, 2010 sued Dr Wan Azizah, her then deputy Dr Syed Husin Ali and four others for RM200mil over claims that the statutory body was bankrupt.

In the defamation claim, the plaintiffs – Felda and its investment company Felda Global Ventures Holdings Sdn Bhd – sued six defendants for false allegations over the process of buying the Felda building.

Suara Keadilan publisher Pelita Koridor Sdn Bhd, its printer Percetakan NPK Sdn Bhd, its editor Dzulkarnain Taib and its writer Rusnizam Mahat are the other four defendants.

On Oct 26, 2010 Felda obtained judgment-in-default-of-appearance in the suit against Suara Keadilan’s publisher and printer.

Dzulkarnain had on Sept 30 had apologised to Felda and undertake to refrain from making any further allegations.

Felda has contended that it sued PKR as the party is responsible for the publication of the monthly newspaper Suara Keadilan which carried the two allegedly defamatory articles in its June 22-29, 2010 edition.

A Friend In Need Is A Friend Indeed

One hot summer afternoon, Ahmad drove his car along a narrow, bumpy road. He drove quite fast, but not too fast to avoid colliding with another car that might come from the opposite direction, especially when his car was not in a good condition due to the bumpy road.

Suddenly his car jerked and stopped. Ahmad was surprised and he quickly went out of his car. He stepped on the hot, rocky road and and felt the heat of the hot summer sun burning his skin. He shaded his eyes from the sun and went to the back of his car.

Immediately, he saw what was wrong with the car, he had a punctured tyre. He squatted down in front of the punctured tyre,  thinking of how to fix it. He saw a car coming and he stood up and waved his hand at the car. The driver saw him and stopped his car.

The driver walked out of the car and walked towards Ahmad. He looked at Ahmad in disbelief, “Ahmad, I haven’t seen you for a long time!” said the driver excitedly.

“Ariff! I’m so happy to see you. It has been three years since you moved away from the city! Ariff, I need your help. I have a punctured tyre, but I’ve never fix a punctured tyre before,” said Ahmad to his old friend Ariff.

“Sure, I’m glad to help you!” said Ariff with a big smile.

Ariff walked to his car, and took out a spare tyre and some tools from his car boot . Ariff taught Ahmad how to use a car jack and they took out the punctured tyre. After that Afiff taught Ahmad how to put on the new tyre. When they were done, Ahmad thanked Ariff and invited Ariff to his holiday cottage for dinner.

“Thank you for the invitation. I really wish that I could but I had promised my cousin to have dinner at his house tonight. May be some other day, said Ariff before saying good bye .

Ahmad continued his journey to his lakeside holiday cottage. After two hours, he arrived at his destination. It was a lovely, small cottage surrounded by fruit trees, facing a beautiful lake and with a big field o its right.

He heaved a sigh of relief and walked towards his cottage. He plucked some the red, ripe apples from the tree by his drive way before walking inside his cottage. It was almost seven, so he went to the kitchen and prepared his dinner.

Before he could even started eating his meal, his phone rang. He picked up his phone, it was Ariff calling to tell him that his car crashed due to a very heavy rain about two hours drive from Ahmad’s cottage.

Ahmad quickly drove to the accident location and was relieved to see that his childhood friend was unhurt. He invited Ariff to stay at his cottage while his car was being fixed. Ariff thanked Ahmad for being a good friend. A friend in need is a friend indeed