High Court allows Tajuddin's bid to strike out defamation suit filed by Pua, Loke

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 12): The High Court has allowed Pasir Salak Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman's application to strike out a suit filed by Damansara Member of Parliament Tony Pua Kiam Wee and Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook over a claim that DAP sought to do away with the monarchy system in the country.

Judicial commissioner Datuk Seri Latifah Mohd Tahar allowed the strike out application without costs.

"The reason is because we did not plead that the defendant had caused publication, one of three elements needed to be proved in defamation," lawyer Farhan Haziq, who represents Loke and Pua, told reporters after the court allowed Tajuddin's application.

The three elements are that the statement must be defamatory, the statement must be referred to the plaintiff and there must be publication.

"We will have to seek instructions from our client as to whether they want to appeal or amend and file afresh. For now there is no decision," he said.

Lawyer Datuk Hasnal Reza Merican represents Tajuddin.

Tajuddin filed the application last May 8 on grounds that the words he uttered at a gathering did not refer to the plaintiffs' post or profession.

Pua, who is political secretary to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, and Loke, who is Seremban Member of Parliament, filed the suit against Tajuddin on March 20 over a speech he made at Kampung Jawa on the eve of the Sungai Kandis by-election on Aug 3 last year.

They claimed Tajuddin, in his speech, said they were Christians and together with their colleagues in DAP, were working to spread the religion and also abolish the monarchy system.

Pua and Loke also claimed that they were alleged by Tajuddin to be working to establish a system of government like Singapore, where there is no king or sultan.

They said Tajuddin's speech was reported by news portal Malaysiakini on the same day with the title "Tajuddin fires 'Christian DAP' salvo to close BN's Sg Kandi's campaign" and was shared 9,400 times.

In their statement of claim, Pua and Loke also claimed that Tajuddin's statement gave the impression that they were using their position to advance their personal political agenda.

Read also: July 12 decision on Tajuddin's application to strike out suit by Pua, Loke