Federal Court rules gov't can sue for defamation

In a landmark decision, the Federal Court ruled today that the federal and state governments can sue individuals for defamation.

A five-member bench led by Court of Appeal president Ahmad Ma'arop ruled that in Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen's appeal in his case against the Sarawak government, the Derbyshire principle is not applicable as there are existing laws available, including the Government Proceedings Act 1956 (GPA).

The government has a reputation, the court said, which it could protect via defamation suits...

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