The Court of Appeal is set to announce its verdict on August 21 regarding the appeal by former Baling MP, Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim, in his defamation lawsuit against Lim Guan Eng. The decision date was confirmed by both Abdul Azeez’s lawyer, Craig Ho, and Felix Lim, counsel for Bagan MP Guan Eng. The appeal follows the Penang High Court’s dismissal of Abdul Azeez’s defamation suit against Guan Eng in December 2020, in relation to the Penang undersea tunnel project.
In March 2018, Abdul Azeez filed a lawsuit against Guan Eng, alleging that the latter had made defamatory statements during a press conference and a Chinese New Year open house event. The statements reportedly linked Abdul Azeez to a payment of US$3 million as consultation fees from the developer of the undersea tunnel project. Abdul Azeez is seeking general and exemplary damages, as well as other relief deemed suitable by the court.
During the appeal hearing on May 19, Abdul Azeez’s lead counsel, Porres Royan, argued that the High Court judge’s reasoning in accepting Lim’s defence of plea of justification was flawed and incorrect. Royan claimed that the judge failed to recognise that Guan Eng had not provided any evidence of the truth of the allegation that Abdul Azeez had received money from Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd in relation to the project.
In response, Lim’s lawyer, N. Mureli, argued that the statement made by his client was not against Abdul Azeez, but was targeting other parties and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over the authority’s decision to charge one person and not charge another person.
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