Sunday, August 31, 2014

Defamation- The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

There are a few good, bad and ugly matters brought about in my life by the defamation case brought on me by Salcon Engineering Bhd and Yap Sui Pon.

The good: I have learnt a lot of new words including deponent, affiant, sub judice, Pyrrhic victory and many other words that I have not heard nor used before. I have also learnt a lot of things that I believe are wrongly interpreted by people including politicians eg. Sub judice.

The bad: I have had many sleepless nights since the writ of summons was issued by Salcon Engineering Berhad. My wife has been quite unhappy with me spending so much of my valuable time on defending this case.

The ugly: The cost in terms of legal fee is very high. I am told that whether I win or lose I will be out of pocket.

Saturday, August 30, 2014


Often decisions are made and judgements passed based on affidavits. Affidavits are given under oath and are therefore presumed to be truthful and made in good faith.
An affidavit has the power to tip the scales of justice and perilously alter the lives of one or hundreds of people. The foundation of the legal system depends on trust and credibility.

What happens when someone says something that is undeniably a lie in an affidavit?
Isn’t the person affirming lies in an affidavit guilty of perjury?
If a person swears to tell the truth and nothing but the truth and then lies in an affidavit isn’t that person making a mockery of that oath?

Friday, August 29, 2014


An affidavit is an evidence on paper sworn outside the Court — a written sworn statement of evidence.

One's obligation in making an affidavit is the same as when one is giving evidence in the witness box. As heard in many TV series, one is to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

 I believe one of the best and cost effective ways to settle a case speedily is for the deponent to be cross-examined.

The questions I have are: Can legal issues be resolved without establishing the relevant facts? What better and speedier way is there to establish the facts than to cross-examine the deponent.

Most claims of facts can be verified by cross-examination. Only then can we become convinced that a claim is an authentic fact.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Members of Parliament and sub judice

Our members of parliament (MP) or at least the 6 MP’s I know choose not to speak about current court cases during debates in the State Assembly and in Parliament.

I believe they take the easy way out – don’t talk about anything that is under a court case in parliament. It is also possible that they can’t think logically.

I believe that MP’s should be able to speak freely on any matter in the public interest unless of course an issue relates to a current court case directly. There ought to be a balance between an MP’s   right to freely debate issues and the risk of prejudice.

I believe the MPs I had met must be so petrified by the word sub judice that they have lost their power to think.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Further and Better Particulars

Where the details in one of the parties’ pleadings are too brief or insufficient, the other party may request clarification of matters or for additional information by letter. However, if the other party fails to reply within a reasonable time, an application may be made to court for an order that the other party provide further and better particulars.

One party may also ask for clarification of matters when it knows that there are elements of untruth in the affidavit or pleadings. For instance if the deponent were to state in his affidavit that the consultants have given them a letter stating that some works had not been done by the sub-contractor and the sub-contractor knows this to be untrue as he had done all the works he can ask for further and better particulars from the deponent or from the consultants directly.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Public Interest Litigation

A recent ruling in Kuala Lumpur has simplified the test for standing (locus standi) in Malaysian public interest litigation cases. The new test developed by the Federal Court means a person will have standing to bring a case before the Court if they have at least a genuine interest in an issue of public importance. The new test removes the requirement that the litigant must show he has had his rights affected by the issue before the Court.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Criticising Court Judgement

A judgment in court is a formal and final decision. When describing a court judgement, the term is not seen as negative or positive because decisions made in court are fallible. 

Retired Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram said anyone was welcomed to criticise a judgement in the strongest terms.

"You only run foul of the law like contempt of court for attacking the judges personally." 
He said he had never come across anyone, let alone a member of the Bar, being prosecuted under the archaic law, from the time he started practice in 1970 until his retirement from the bench in 2010.
"It is common for lawyers and academicians to dissect judgements. Are we not now allowed to make a critical evaluation of the judges’ legal opinions?"