Azam Baki sues whistleblower for defamation

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki has filed a defamation suit against whistleblower Lalitha Kunaratnam over her articles published in the Independent News Service (INS) news portal, last year.

According to a statement issued by Azam’s counsel Megat Abdul Munir, the suit was filed at the Kuala Lumpur High Court through law firm Messrs Zain Megat & Murad, today.

Megat said the suit is in relation to the articles that were published and republished by the defendant (Lalitha) in the INS on Oct 26 and Dec 15, last year.

“Instead of responding to our client’s Letter of Demand issued on Jan 6, she has through her lawyer issued a press statement published on her Twitter account, wherein she has claimed to stand by her publication and republication, the contents of which our client strenuously maintains are defamatory.

“Our client is therefore constrained to file this suit before the expiry of 14 days from the date of the Letter of Demand to protect his good name, reputation and professional standing.

“In doing so, our client was merely asserting his rights as enshrined by the Federal Constitution and applicable laws, to seek the necessary and appropriate reliefs from the court and our client strongly believes that this will also provide the defendant a similar right and opportunity to justify her claims in court and not merely engage in a trial by the media,“ the lawyer said.

Megat said his client will not be making any further statements in relation to the matter and will leave it to the court to hear and decide accordingly.

“Lastly, our client wishes to make clear his unwavering commitment that the MACC will always protect all whistleblowers who fall within the ambit of the Whistleblower Protection Act,” he added. – Bernama