SIBU: The application to strike out a lawsuit filed by Sarikei MP Ding Kwong Hiing against Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarikei branch chairman Wong Hua Seh was dismissed by the High Court yesterday afternoon.
Justice Yew Jen Kie made her ruling via video conference.
On June 25, Wong filed an application to strike out the lawsuit.
In Ding’ suit filed on May 27, he claimed RM15 million from Wong for the damage in reputation that Wong had caused him by an allegedly false statement.
According to the statement of claim, on Dec 29 last year, the defendant had via a press conference caused a defamatory article to be written on the plaintiff.
The defamatory statement was printed and published on Dec 20, 2009 in various Chinese newspapers namely Malaysia Daily News/Sin Chew Daily News, See Hua Daily News and Sin Hua Daily News.
He claimed that publications were motivated by the defendant’s malice to advance his personal political agenda so as inter alia to expose the plaintiff to hatred, contempt, ridicule or degrade him and lower him in the estimation of right thinking members of society generally.
Reported in Sin Chew Daily News/Malaysia Daily News on Dec 20, the plaintiff claimed the defendant had falsely and maliciously caused or permitted to be printed and published the article which was defamatory to him under the heading ‘Wong Hua Seh: Not Bringing People’s Livelihood To Parliament. Ding Kuong Hiing Not Discharging His Duties’.
In See Hua Daily News it was under the heading ‘Not Serving The People’s Rights and Benefits, Wong Hua Seh Attacked Ding Kuong Hiing Defaulting Duties and in Sin Hua Daily News, it was under the heading ‘Hua Seh Attacked Ding Kuong Hiing For Not Fighting For People’s Rights and Benefits in Parliament’.
Among the inferential meaning claimed in the written report were failing to represent the people in Sarikei constituency and did not fight for the rights and benefits of the people in Parliament; a useless, incompetent and can-do-nothing other than just giving funds allocations, attending dinners and opening ceremonies; and failed to carry out his duties as MP.
The plaintiff claimed that the publications caused him to suffer considerable mental distress, hurt, anxiety, mental anguish and extreme embarrassment.
On Dec 28, last year, Ding, through his Solicitors, Messrs Ling and Wong (Advocates and Solicitors), Bintulu issued a letter demanding an apology and settlement by Jan 11, 2010 but it was not complied with.
Thus he claimed RM5 million for general damages, RM5 million for aggravated damages and RM5 million in exemplary damages.
The plaintiff at the material time was a member of the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) and a political secretary to the chief minister of Sarawak while the defendant, a medical health practitioner in Sarikei.
In the last parliamentary election on March 8, 2008, the plaintiff and defendant were candidates in the election in P208 Sarikei.
The plaintiff was duly elected with a majority of 51 votes, obtaining 10,588 votes while the defendant 10,537 votes.
The lawsuit against Wong is scheduled to be heard on Dec 6.