KUALA LUMPUR — The High Court here today set three days beginning June 8 next year to hear the defamation suit filed by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department P. Waytha Moorthy against UMNO Supreme Council member Datuk Lokman Noor Adam over a speech on the death of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim.
Judicial Commissioner Datuk Seri Latifah Mohd Tahar fixed the dates in chambers in the presence of lawyer Ng Kien Hann Tristan, representing Waytha Moorthy, and lawyer N. Logendran, who was representing Lokman Noor.
Ng, when met by reporters, said the hearing was fixed on June 8, 9 and 10, with the case management set for Jan 20.
Waytha Moorthy, who is the Minister in charge of National Unity and Social Wellbeing, filed the suit last April 26, claiming that Lokman Noor, 46, had spoken at a protest assembly attended by about 100 participants and the speech, which was uploaded on the defendant’s Facebook page, received 55,500 views and was shared 1,658 times as on April 18.
In the statement of claims, Waytha Moorthy stated that the defamatory speech was uploaded in two videos via Youtube, KiniTV and Sinar TV with the heading “ Several ministers tried to amend Adib’s post-mortem report, claimed Lokman”.
He claimed the defamatory speech was also produced in four articles, among them with the title “Lokman accuses several ministers of attempting to amend Adib’s post-mortem report “ and “ Waytha Moorthy among ministers who requested for Adib’s post-mortem report to be amended”, by several news portals, including Malaysia Kini and Minda Rakyat, dated Jan 4 and 5, 2019.
Waytha Moorthy claimed the alleged defamatory statements were not true and affected his reputation as a minister and senator.
He also said the statements were intended to mean, among others, that he is a dishonest minister who attempted to manipulate the medical report on Muhammad Adib’s death and failed to carry out his duties as a minister responsible for national unity and social wellbeing, apart from inciting riots at the Sri Mariamman Temple in USJ, Subang.
Lokman Noor, in his statement of defence filed on July 3, denied that his speech at the assembly defamed the minister, claiming that it was made based on fair comment and for public interest.