Monday, 8 November 2010

Whether publication of defamatory words to staff of recipient or sender of de-famatory communication sufficient to constitute publication of defamatory words to third party

In Subramaniam a/l Paramasivam v Courts Mammoth Bhd & Anor [2010] 9 MLJ 363, it was held at paragraph [2] that"-

"...There are three initial elements to an action in defamation. The first is whether the words by their natural and ordinary meaning (see Chong Swee Huat & Anor v Lim Shian Ghee T/AL & G Consultants & Education Services [2009] 3 MLJ 665; [2009] 4 CLJ 113 (CA)) or by innuendo (Rajagopal v Rajan [1972] 1 MLJ 45; [1971] 1 LNS 117 (FC); Luk Kui Lam v Sim Ai Leng [1978] 1 MLJ 214; [1978] 1 LNS 110 (FC)) is capable of being defamatory. The second is whether the words refer to the plaintiff. The third is whether the words were published to a third party. See Henry Ong Keng Sem v Patrick Ong King Kok [2008] 7 MLJ 569; [2008] 4 CLJ 276; Ismail bin Shamsudin v Abdul Aziz bin Abdan and other suits [2007] 3 MLJ 512; [2007] 8 CLJ 65; Kian Lup Construction v Hongkong Bank Malaysia Bhd [2002] 7 MLJ 283; [2002] 7 CLJ 32. Only if these elements are established, then it can be said that prima facie the words are defamatory of the plaintiff. Only then would it become necessary to consider the defences and the plaintiff's answers thereto."

The Honourable Court further held at paragraphs [8] to [10] that:-

"[8] As to publication, the letter of termination was addressed to the plaintiff while the letter of complaint was addressed to the Director, Complaints Secretariat of the Advocates & Solicitors' Disciplinary Board.
[9] With written communications is inevitable staff of the sender and staff of the recipient would see the letter. However, even though such staff may not be directly involved in the writing and posting of the letter as well as the receipt and transmission to the recipient, they are nevertheless as staff are integral parts and parcel of the internal organisation. This court holds such staff are not third parties within the meaning of publication of an alleged defamation.
[10] In respect of the letter of termination, this court likewise holds that there had been no publication to a third party where the letter is read by staff of the plaintiff. Without publication to a third party, there is no cause of action in defamation (see Matchplan (M) Sdn Bhd & Anor v William D Sinrich & Anor [2004] 2 MLJ 424; [2004] 1 CLJ 810 (CA))."

Talk on ' Syariah Wills'

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Selangor Bar <>
Date: 8 November 2010 08:19
Subject: Talk on ' Syariah Wills'
To: Selangor Bar <>


8th November, 2010


Dear Members of the Bar,

The Selangor Bar Committee is organising a Talk on 'Syariah Wills' on 12th November, 2010 [Friday], 5.00 p.m at Selangor Bar Auditorium.

Thank you.

Selangor Bar Committee

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[Malaysian Bar:2970] Press Release: Sarawak State Government’s continuing ban is detrimental to the development of human rights

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Bar Council <>
Date: 4 November 2010 09:49
Subject: [Malaysian Bar:2970] Press Release: Sarawak State Government's continuing ban is detrimental to the development of human rights

Malaysian Bar Council
No. 13, 15 & 17, Leboh Pasar Besar, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: 03-2031 3003 (Hunting Line) Fax: 03-2034 2825, 2026 1313, 2072 5818

Press Release
Sarawak State Government's continuing ban is detrimental to the development of human rights
The Malaysian Bar calls on the Sarawak State Government to immediately rescind the entry ban from entering the state of Sarawak currently imposed upon Jannie Lasimbang, one of Malaysia's Human Rights Commissioners.

The fact that a Commissioner of Malaysia's Human Rights Commission (Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia Malaysia, or "SUHAKAM"), is denied entry into Sarawak is, in principle, quite wrong. There should not be any "no go" areas for SUHAKAM. The Federal Government, in exercising its rights under the Federal Constitution, has made a federal law to establish SUHAKAM and to define its terms of reference and scope of powers.

The entry ban is a negative development, and one that Malaysia can ill afford. It is happening at a time when SUHAKAM is once again coming under the scrutiny of the Sub-Committee on Accreditation of the International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions. SUHAKAM's continuing "A" status is already in jeopardy, and the restrictions faced by Jannie Lasimbang may well kick SUHAKAM out of the "A" status league.

Malaysia is being closely observed by the international community for the manner in which the government is handling the issue of indigenous peoples' rights and land reform. Great focus has already been concentrated on Sarawak, what with the issue of the Penans, the illegal logging of native customary land, and other encroachment on the rights of the Orang Asal there.

As one of the four persons who constitute the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council, Jannie Lasimbang's proven expertise in the area of indigenous people's rights and land reform would have lent weight and credibility to the comprehensive national enquiry SUHAKAM was planning to undertake in this regard. The continued intransigence of the Sarawak State Government can only have a detrimental effect on the issue of Orang Asli/Orang Asal rights and on the orderly and positive development of human rights in our country.

Lim Chee Wee
Malaysian Bar

4 November 2010

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