This morning, our editor emeritus, Azam Aris, was charged in the Petaling Jaya Magistrate's Court for criminal defamation of Datuk Kua Khai Shyuan, DGB Asia Bhd, Trive Property Group Bhd, Metronic Global Bhd and MNC Wireless Bhd over articles The Edge published on how penny stocks were manipulated by hidden hands on Bursa Malaysia.
When we were informed yesterday (Sept 12) by ASP Mohd Adnan Alias of the Brickfields District Police that the Deputy Public Prosecutor’s (DPP) Office of Kuala Lumpur had directed that charges be filed against two of our editors, Azam Aris and M Shanmugam, we were shocked that they were intervening in what, if anything at all, is essentially a civil dispute.
M Shanmugam is currently out of the country and we are told he will be charged when he returns.
This is the background:
Manipulation can wreak havoc to the orderly function of the stock market, damage the reputation of Bursa and cause many innocent people to lose money. Regulators like Bursa and the Securities Commission Malaysia frequently advise investors to be cautious.
The volatile trading of penny stocks which took place in 2020 and early 2021 has abated, following our last article in April 2021 and after warnings by market regulators. Many people have lost money as the prices of these stocks have collapsed. However, the losses would have been much more had the manipulation continued in a big way.
As a media that reports on the stock market and corporate sector extensively, we have a responsibility to highlight important matters to the investing public — including alerting them about how stock prices are being manipulated.
We are, therefore, baffled as to why the police and the DPP’s Office of Kuala Lumpur are pressing criminal defamation charges against us for informing investors about stock market manipulation.
Where is the defamation?
If the complainant, who is a private businessman, feels that we have defamed him, the police and DPP should ask him to file a civil suit against us instead of using public resources.
Datuk Ho Kay Tat
Publisher & group CEO
The Edge Media Group