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Friday, May 31, 2019

I used the derogatory word against Waytha ‘in passing’, says right wing leader

Jaringan Melayu Malaysia president Azwanddin Hamzah. (Bernama pic)
KUALA LUMPUR: Malay rights group leader Azwanddin Hamzah, who is facing a suit by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department P Waytha Moorthy, says he used a derogatory term against the latter “in passing” at a gathering late last year.
In his defence statement sighted by the media today, he said he had used the word against Waytha as he was instigated by the crowd at the gathering for late fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim on Dec 26.
“I repeated what the crowd said during the height of the gathering. I was not referring to the minister as a ‘low life’ individual, as he claimed in his lawsuit,” he said.
He also denied uttering the word against Waytha in bad faith.
He said what Waytha had stated in his suit did not reflect what he meant to say at the gathering.
“His claims in the suit against me have been exaggerated and paint me as someone who tried to make the public angry,” he added.
The Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM) leader also said there had been much criticism of the government after Pakatan Harapan (PH) took over Putrajaya on May 9 last year.
“He is a senator and the minister in charge of the national unity portfolio, but there are certain facts about him that do not reflect unity,” he said, adding that there have been comments on social media saying that Waytha has lost public confidence and asking him to resign.
Lawyer Annou Xavier, representing the minister, said High Court judicial commissioner Rohani Ismail had set Aug 16 for trial.
He said there was no attempt from Azwanddin to settle the suit.
Waytha, in his suit, claimed that Azwanddin had used a derogatory word and made references to him during the gathering for Adib.
He accused Azwanddin of using the word against him three times during the event, saying this was meant to humiliate and insult him, and to instigate public hatred against him.
Waytha’s lawyers sent Azwanddin a letter of demand on Jan 8, telling the JMM leader to apologise within a week. However, Azwanddin refused to do so.
The minister is seeking an unspecified amount in damages from Azwanddin and an injunction to stop him from repeating the statements.
This is not the first suit against the JMM president brought by a PH leader.
n December, Deputy Defence Minister Liew Chin Tong sued Azwanddin over two articles published on the latter’s Facebook page and the JMM website.
In January, meanwhile, Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok filed a suit against him for claiming she had a personal interest in the land dispute involving the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman temple. - FMT

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