Sungai Besar Umno division chief Jamal Yunos today lost his appeal to strike out a defamation suit filed against him by former primary industries minister Teresa Kok over the alleged misuse of Yayasan Warisan Anak Selangor (Yawas) funds.
A three-member Court of Appeal panel comprising justices Suraya Othman, Has Zanah Mehat and S Nantha Balan dismissed Jamal’s appeal and ordered him to pay Kok RM7,000 in costs.
The appeal hearing was conducted via Zoom. Lawyers V Mugunthan and Mohammad Fauzi Abdul Samad appeared for Jamal while Sankara Nair, Tan Han Sam and Elyse Ng Zi Qian represented Kok.
Sankara said the case would now proceed to a full trial at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.
He said the High Court set Jan 3 next year for case management to fix the trial dates.
Mugunthan, when contacted, confirmed the court’s decision.
Jamal had appealed against the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s decision, delivered on Jan 3, dismissing his application to strike out the suit.
He filed the application on April 25 last year on grounds that there was no reasonable basis for Kok’s claim.
Kok, who is Seputeh MP, filed the suit on April 6, 2017, over an allegedly defamatory statement by Jamal pertaining to Yawas funds during a news conference on March 8, 2017.
In her statement of claim, she said the statement was published by both print and electronic media, as well as on Jamal’s Facebook page.
She claimed that the statement, among others, gave the impression that she had misused state government funds for herself and was an unethical person.
She is seeking RM1 million in general damages, compensatory damages, aggravated damages and exemplary damages, and an injunction to prevent Jamal from making further such claims in the media.