Friday 02 Jun 2023
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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 12): Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki has filed a defamation lawsuit against journalist Lalitha Kunaratnam over his alleged ownership of shares.

The suit filed at the High Court on Wednesday (Jan 12) relates to two articles published by Lalitha in the Independent News Service on Oct 26 and Dec 15 last year, said Azam’s lawyer Megat Abdul Munir in a statement. 

“Instead of responding to our client’s Letter of Demand issued on Jan 6, 2022, she has through her lawyer issued a press statement published on her Twitter account, wherein she has claimed to stand by her publication and republication, the contents of which our client strenuously maintains are defamatory.

“Our client is therefore constrained to file this suit before the expiry of 14 days from the date of the Letter of Demand to protect his good name, reputation and professional standing,” said Megat. 

Saying Azam is asserting his rights to seek appropriate reliefs from the courts, the lawyer added that the suit will also provide Lalitha the right to justify her claims in court and not engage in a trial by the media.

“As advised by us, our client will not be making any further statements in relation to this matter and he has full confidence in the Malaysian courts to hear and decide on this matter accordingly,” he said.

“Our client wishes to make clear his unwavering commitment that the MACC will always protect all whistleblowers who fall within the ambit of the Whistleblower Protection Act, 2010,” he added. 

Azam has come under the spotlight over his alleged purchase of shares and warrants in two public listed companies in 2015 and 2016. 

Insisting that he has not committed any wrongdoing, Azam said the shares and warrants were purchased by his brother using the MACC chief’s share trading account.

Edited ByS Kanagaraju
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