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Perak exco sues farmer, The Star, MCA chief for defamation

Published:  |  Modified:

Perak state executive councillor A Sivanesan has filed a defamation suit against a farmer, English daily The Star, and MCA president Wee Ka Siong.

The suit concerns two articles published in The Star that highlighted farmers in Kampung Baru Kuala Bikam who had expressed fears over 76.9ha lands with fruit trees being bulldozed by a sand mining company. The articles also featured Wee's comment on the matter.

Twenty-three-year-old farmer Poh Wai Sheng was named as the first defendant.

The Star, its deputy executive editor and writer Foong Pek Yee, and Wee were named as second to fourth defendants.

Sivanesan alleged that he found problems with the articles, titled "Farmers angered as farms are bulldozed" and "Wee: Farmers who lost their farmland deserve answer", respectively. Both articles had been published on Aug 4, 2018.

According to Sivanesan, the previous state administration had granted the permit for Pengurusan Pasir Perak Sdn Bhd to transport silica sand out of the village.

The relevant sand mining area had been occupied by farmers who operated the farms illegally, he claimed.

They had declined to leave the place when asked to do so by the mining company, added Sivanesan, who is also Perak DAP vice-president.

The councillor claimed that the articles had given the impression that he was a man who could not keep his promise, and as such was not qualified to hold public office.

He further alleged that the articles also gave the public the impression that DAP was irresponsible.

In August 2018, Sivanesan had served a legal notice to Poh and Foong to retract their statements.

Sivanesan, via his counsel, had also demanded that Foong apologise and compensate him an amount proposed by the DAP leader.

He is seeking general, aggravated and exemplary damages from the defendants.

He also sought for the court to compel them to retract the articles in question.

The suit was filed by A Sivanesan and Co while the farmer was represented by Ng Kian Nam.

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