Court again tells Yeo and Jamal Yunos to settle suit

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on July 25, 2019.
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KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here made another bid yesterday for Energy, Green Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin to settle her defamation suit against Umno division leader Datuk Seri Jamal Md Yunos.

Jamal’s counsel Mohammed Nasser Yusof said this after case management in the chambers of High Court Judge Justice Datuk Nik Hasmat Nik Mohamad.

It was previously reported that both Yeo and Jamal agreed to settle via mediation their legal dispute about a statement on Yayasan Warisan Anak Selangor (Yawas) funds.

However, all efforts ended in failure.

Mohammed Nasser said he had applied for a stay of the hearing of the suit as his client wanted to know the outcome of the report he lodged with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) regarding his allegations on Yawas funds.

He indicated that the outcome of the MACC probe, which might be favourable to Jamal, will affect the suit as it would mean that there were no defamatory words uttered by Jamal to Yeo.

He said the High Court then set Aug 9 for further case management, and for an update on the status of the MACC’s investigation.

The trial date, Aug 15,  which had earlier been fixed by the High Court has also been vacated, he added.

Yeo, 36, who was the Damansara Utama assemblyman and is now Bakri member of parliament, filed a defamation suit against Jamal, an Umno division leader,  on June 14, 2017, where she sought damages for a purportedly defamatory statement on the alleged abuse of Yawas funds, which was published in several newspapers, news portals and in Jamal’s Facebook account.

The minister claimed that Jamal’s statement, among others, had given the impression that she had abused public funds for her personal use and the statement painted her to be an unethical and unreliable politician.

She is seeking RM5 million general damages, along with aggravated, exemplary damages and an injunction against Jamal preventing him from repeating the allegations.