Sungai Besar Umno division head Jamal Yunos today apologised to former energy, science, technology, environment and climate change minister Yeo Bee Yin as part of the settlement of a defamation suit in relation to Yayasan Warisan Anak Selangor (Yawas) funds.
Jamal, 50, read out his statement of apology at the Kuala Lumpur court complex compound.
The hearing of the suit had been scheduled at the High Court for today and Thursday before judge Rozana Ali Yusoff, but Jamal and Yeo agreed to settle the matter through a consent judgment.
“I now acknowledge that YB Yeo Bee Yin is an honest and transparent person in managing Skim Mesra Usia Emas money.
“I would like to apologise to YB Yeo Bee Yin for my mistake. I’m sorry, YB Yeo Bee Yin,” Jamal said.
Earlier, Rozana recorded the consent judgment and thanked the parties involved for agreeing to settle out of court.
Based on the draft judgment, Jamal, as the defendant represented by lawyer Mohammed Nasser Yusof, had to apologise to Yeo as the plaintiff in front of all journalists and photographers in the compound of the Kuala Lumpur court complex today.
The defendant, his agents or workers are also barred from further uttering, writing, publishing or disseminating the said defamatory speech.
Jamal is also prohibited from uttering, writing, publishing or disseminating words that are said to be defamatory as in the amended statement of claims on June 16, 2017 or words that have the same effect on the plaintiff or statements that can be considered defamatory.
The consent judgment cannot be binding and applied to the defendant by any other party having a similar suit against Jamal and is also without order as to costs.
Yeo filed the suit on June 14, 2017 demanding damages of RM5 million from Jamal for his allegedly defamatory statement regarding the issue of misappropriation of Yawas funds.
The statement of claim by Yeo, who is also the Bakri MP, claimed that Jamal had issued the statement on March 21, 2017 and that it was published by several newspapers, news portals and on the defendant’s Facebook.
Yeo claimed that the statement, among others, gave the impression that she had misused public funds and was unethical and untrustworthy.
When met outside the court, lawyer Sankara N Nair, representing Yeo who did not attend the proceedings, said there is a general imputation in law that all persons are of good repute until otherwise proven, and that reputation is therefore a valuable commodity to all.
He said the public apology by Jamal meant that the episode which had tainted his client’s reputation had now been removed.
“It is irrefutable that my client’s character and reputation are impeccable. She is fully vindicated,” he said.