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Lawyer slams news portal for misleading report

11th July, 2018


KOTA KINABALU: Tan Sri Musa Haji Aman’s suit against Head of State, Tun Juhar Mahiruddin and Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal is proceeding, contrary to an online report which says he has dropped the suit.

His lead counsel Tengku Fuad Tengku Ahmad said this in response to a Borneo Today news portal report under the headline “Musa Aman Drops Suit Against Shafie; Former CM Ordered to Pay Costs” which was published, yesterday.

Describing the headline as grossly misleading and inaccurate, Fuad stated in his statement that to say Musa has “dropped the suit” is plainly wrong as he was continuing his suit against Tun Juhar and Shafie by way of Originating Summons (OS).

He also added that the High Court has fixed September 3, to decide on Shafie’s striking out application.

“The Borneo Today headline is totally misconceived and inaccurate. On June 6, Musa filed an Originating Summons against Tun Juhar and Shafie to declare, among others, that Musa is the rightful Chief Minister of Sabah. On the same day, Musa instructed us to discontinue the earlier writ of summons which was filed against Tun Juhar and Shafie on May 17.

On the issue of costs, Fuad in his statement explained that “it is usual in High Court proceedings for a plaintiff who discontinues a writ to make an offer for costs. Tan Sri Musa made an offer for costs of RM5000 and that was duly accepted and ordered by the Court. The portal appears to be trying to make something out of nothing. That is unfortunate.”

Fuad opined that in future, news portals such as Borneo Today should check their facts before publishing misleading and inaccurate headlines since such conduct can not only expose the news portal to liability for libel but moreover will cause the public to become confused in respect of important news items such as Musa’s ongoing case.

It was reported that Musa had discontinued his writ of summon on June 6, and filed a new action by way of OS that would not require his presence in court. The OS, seeking the same claims as stated in the previous suit.

Musa named Tun Juhar and Shafie as the first and second defendants respectively.

The new suit (the OS) could be decided entirely using documents and submissions, without needing the parties to come to court.

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