Santhara sues Batu MP for defamation

by Theleaders-Online | September 28, 2021 3:42 am

KUALA LUMPUR – Segamat MP Datuk Seri Santhara Kumar Ramanaidu has filed a suit against Batu MP P. Prabakaran for allegedly uttering defamatory words in connection with the former deputy Federal Territories minister’s visit to New Zealand.

Santhara Kumar, 50, filed the suit at the high court here through Messrs N. Krishnan Nair & Co on June 23, naming Prabakaran, 25, as the sole defendant.

Based on the statement of claim, the plaintiff said the defendant held a press conference outside the New Zealand high commission on March 17, between 9.30am and 2pm, in which the latter issued untrue and false information on the plaintiff’s responsibilities as deputy minister.

The plaintiff said the defendant or his representative submitted a memorandum to the New Zealand high commission criticising the approval and permission given to the plaintiff to visit New Zealand, and that the defendant also contacted officials at the embassy to find out personal information on the plaintiff’s permission to enter the country.

According to the allegedly defamatory statements, the plaintiff had trespassed into and entered New Zealand illegally without complying with and respecting the country’s laws, and that the authorities should take appropriate action against him.

Santhara Kumar said Prabakaran also attended a press conference on May 28, informing the public that the latter received a legal notice from the plaintiff’s solicitors, and criticising and accusing the plaintiff of bullying, being unfair, and intimidating the defendant as a young politician.

The plaintiff applied for an injunction to restrain the defendant or his agents from further issuing defamatory statements.

He is seeking exemplary, aggravated and compensatory damages, and for a statement of apology and retraction to be published in three local newspapers in Bahasa Malaysia, English and Tamil, and uploaded on the defendant’s Facebook and YouTube accounts.

In a statement of defence filed on September 8, Prabakaran said the statements he issued did not have malicious intent to tarnish the image or reputation of the plaintiff.

The matter is set for case management on October 13. – Bernama

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