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Court dismisses Ka Siong's injunction application

KUALA LUMPUR, May 7 (Bernama) -- The High Court today dismissed MCA Youth chief Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong's application for an injunction to restrain Tan Sri Robert Phang and Star Publications (M) Berhad from further publishing alleged defamatory statements linking him to the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal.

Judicial Commissioner Dr Prasad Sandosham Abraham also dismissed Phang and Star Publications' separate applications to set aside an ex-parte injunction obtained by Wee on Jan 22, 2010.

Prasand said Wee's ex-parte application filed on Jan 22 failed to state any special circumtances for the court to grant the order.

On Phang and Star's applications, Prasad ruled that the ex-parte injunction granted to Wee was of no effect any more since it already lapsed the 21 days.

"There is nothing to set aside since the injunction granted to Wee has already lapsed," ruled Prasad, adding that the case should go for a trial. A date will be fixed later for case management.

On Feb 9, Wee filed a defamation suit naming Phang, a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commisssion (MACC) advisory committee member, and the publisher of the English daily as defendants over four articles published between Dec 25, 2009 and Jan 12, 2010.

Wee, who is Deputy Education Minister, claimed that the articles understood to mean that he was involved in or committed corruption and abuse of power.

Wee is also asking to restrain the defendants from calling or suggesting he is a "bully, coward and liar" and is also seeking damages.

Phang, 71, who is also chairman of the Social Care Foundation, in his statement of defence, said his statements were fair comment and were made on an occasion of qualified privilege.

Also claiming qualified privilege, Star Publications said as a responsible news publisher, it had the social and moral duty to report and publish news and statements concerning Wee's involvement in PKFZ as they were of public interest and importance because he was a politician and a public figure.

Ben Chan represented Wee. Ang Hean Leng appeared for Phang while Yee Mei Ken was the counsel for Star Publications.

MySinchew 2010.05.07


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