Syabas wins defamation suit against DAP MP

Pua today told reporters that he will appeal the decision, saying “what I said was hardly defamatory”. — file picPua today told reporters that he will appeal the decision, saying “what I said was hardly defamatory”. — file picKUALA LUMPUR, June 6 — Water concessionaire Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) has won a defamation suit against DAP’s Tony Pua, the High Court ruled today.

High Court judge Justice Amelia Tee Hong Geok Abdullah ordered the Petaling Jaya Utara MP to pay Syabas RM200,000 in damages and four per cent in interest per annum, Pua’s lawyer Alliff Benjamin Suhaimi told reporters.

She noted that the words, based on a circulation figure of more than 33,000 people, would carry more weight as he is a Member of Parliament, DAP national publicity secretary and a Selangor state government Water Review Panel member.

Justice Amelia also imposed an injunction on Pua, restraining him from repeating the defamatory words or making similar statements in the future.

She dismissed Pua’s counter-claim of damages for harassment from Syabas’ alleged frivolous and vexatious claim.

In the decision made in judges’ chambers, Justice Amelia rejected Pua’s defence of justification, fair comment and qualified privilege.

Pua told reporters that he will appeal the decision, saying “there’s no reason not to appeal” and “what I said was hardly defamatory”.

In the court case filed on January 28 last year, Syabas claimed that Pua had caused Nanyang Siang Pau’s Metro edition to publish statements that defamed it in a November 16, 2010 article, titled “Tony Pua: Selangor government must have water rights to prevent rate hike”.

In its statement of claim, Syabas said the article implied that it was incompetent in managing water supply rights given its inability to repay its debts and to replace water pipes.

In the offending article, Pua was quoted as saying that if the water concessionaires could not settle their debts, the state government should take over water supply management in Selangor.


Please refrain from nicknames or comments of a racist, sexist, personal, vulgar or derogatory nature, or you may risk being blocked from commenting in our website. We encourage commenters to use their real names as their username. As comments are moderated, they may not appear immediately or even on the same day you posted them. We also reserve the right to delete off-topic comments