The Federal Court’s three-man bench led by Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Richard Malanjum dismiss Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd’s application to obtain leave to appeal in a defamation suit over the ‘WWW1’ number plate story published in the Malay daily.
Utusan Melayu sought leave to appeal to the Federal Court against a High Court decision which had allowed former Perak Menteri Besar Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin’s lawsuit and ordered the publisher of the Malay newspaper to pay him damages.
The panel which also included justices Ahmad Maarop and Ramly Ali ordered Utusan Melayu to pay RM10,000 in costs.
Mohammad Nizar sued Utusan Melayu over the publication of an article in its newspaper, Utusan Malaysia, on his (Mohammad Nizar’s) Twitter comments regarding the Sultan of Johor’s RM520,000 bid for the registration number, WWW1.
In his statement of claim, Mohammad Nizar said he had posted a statement on May 28, 2012 on the vehicle number plate on his Twitter account which was subsequently, published by the daily on May 31, 2012.
On July 4, 2013, the High Court in Kuala Lumpur found Utusan Melayu liable of defaming Mohammad Nizar and ordered the company to pay him RM250,000 in general and exemplary damages.
The Court of Appeal upheld the decision on Dec 6, 2013, prompting Utusan Melayu to bring the matter up to the Federal Court.
Mohd Hafarizam Harun represented Utusan Melayu while lawyers Asmuni Alwi and Mohd Fitri Asmuni appeared for Mohammad Nizar.