KUALA LUMPUR – Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad has been awarded RM200,000 in damages for his defamation claim against former Selangor PAS commissioner Datuk Dr Hassan Ali.
High Court judge Justice Hue Siew Kheng ruled that Khalid had proven his claim against the defendant.
“The words complained of, taken in the context of the whole speech, is to my mind clearly defamatory of the plaintiff.
“The plaintiff has proven the claim for defamation against the defendant, particularly in light of the evidence of two witnesses for the plaintiff.
“Both the witnesses testified that the plaintiff did not in any way encourage or promote the sale of liquor or the proliferation of massage parlours and gambling dens,” she said in her judgment on Wednesday.
Justice Hue added that that the defendant had not provided any apology.
She awarded Khalid RM200,000 in damages and another RM35,000 in costs.
Khalid had sued Dr Hassan for allegedly implying that he was a leader who had betrayed Islam.
In his lawsuit, Khalid said Dr Hassan, who is a motivational speaker, had delivered a talk at the Rukun Tetangga hall in Shah Alam on Jan 30, 2012 defaming him.
Khalid said the words had portrayed him as a leader who defended the sale of liquor and the existence of gambling centres and massage parlours, in contradiction with Islamic principles.
In the statement of claim filed on April 29, 2016, the politician had sought for general and aggravated damages as well as an injunction to stop the defendant from repeating or publishing defamatory words against him.
In the statement of defence filed on June 27 the same year, Dr Hassan said Khalid had failed to identify and specify those slanderous statements uttered against him.
Dr Hassan said he was relying on the defence of fair comment which was made without any malice and that the statements had no capacity to defame Khalid, who is known as a critical and controversial person.
He also said the words were uttered were on occasion of qualified privilege, as he was the former Selangor exco member responsible for Islam affairs and that people had interest in the matter.
In his reply dated July 15, Khalid said the defence was a mere denial and that the words had been uttered as statement of facts and not a comment.
Khalid was represented by lawyer Muhammad Faiz Fadzil while counsel Hasnal Rezua Merican acted for Dr Hassan.