Businessman files request to strike Syed Saddiq’s defamation counterclaim

KUALA LUMPUR (May 11): Businessman Datuk Habibul Rahman Kadir Shah has filed a motion to strike a counterclaim by Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, claiming the counterclaim was an abuse of legal process.

Previously, Syed Saddiq filed a counterclaim stating that Habibul’s defamation suit against him was without merit and also constituted an abuse of process.

Habibul is suing MP Muar for remarks the latter made during a press conference at the Seri Pacific Hotel in Kuala Lumpur on October 2, 2017, when he was part of the Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia Party.

At the press conference, Syed Saddiq said there was a plot by anonymous party leaders to weaken the party by “threatening or bribing” its leaders.

Reports had indicated that Syed Saddiq, who was then Bersatu’s youth leader, had also alleged that there had been a “systematic” attempt to influence Bersatu leaders to leave the party.

Habibul is suing Syed Saddiq because he believed the latter referred to him as one of the party leaders who threatened and bribed.

Habibul is a former adviser to ex-Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Previously, Syed Saddiq, in his defense against the lawsuit, cited the defense of justification, qualified privilege and fair comment.

In Habibul’s request that was spotted by peak markets, Syed Saddiq allegedly uttered those words maliciously to tarnish and hurt the former’s reputation in public.

Habibul also said that Syed Saddiq had no right to use the argument of qualified immunity in this case because the latter’s statements were “baseless” and “without public importance”.

“The words spoken in 2017 were for his own (Syed Saddiq) political gain,” the app reads.

Habibul also said that Syed Saddiq cannot stick to the fair comment argument because his comments were not based on facts and were only meant to “satisfy his anger, displeasure and malice towards him. (Habibul)”.

“Plaintiff (Habibul) declares that Respondent’s comments were not told in truth or with good intentions or with verification of facts,” reads the request.

“Furthermore, the plaintiff argues that the defendant’s counterclaim may impair, impede or delay the fair conduct of the action (the defamation action),” Habibul argued.

According to Syed Saddiq’s lawyer, Lim Wei Jiet, the counterclaim has been filed in court and the handling of the case has been set for July 21.

The motion to strike the counterclaim was filed by the law firm Jahaberdeen and Co.

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