Prominent blogger and activist Leong Sze Hian stands to have his appeal against the striking out of his counterclaim against Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong heard in the Court of Appeal on Friday (September 27).
Leong has a defamation claim filed against him by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for sharing an article alleging that PM Lee played a part in laundering money from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), on his personal Facebook page.
The article, not written by Leong, garnered 22 reactions, five comments and 18 shares.
Leong is represented by lawyer and Chief of People’s Voice Party Lim Tean from Carson Law Chambers.
In retaliation, Leong filed a counterclaim against PM Lee for “abusing the process of the court in bringing the claim against me.”
PM Lee’s lawyer Davinder Singh applied to strike out the counterclaim by Leong, and subsequently, Leong applied to strike out PM Lee’s original defamation claim against him.
After hearing the striking out applications by both parties in May, Justice Aedit Abdullah struck out Leong’s counterclaim as he delivered his judgment on March 12. The judge cited Mr Leong’s failure to disclose a “reasonable cause of action” in his counterclaim as the reason for his decision.
On December 5 last year, Leong attempted to clear up some misconceptions he felt that the public had.
He wrote, “On the 8th of November, I shared an article that had appeared in the Malaysian online news media, TheCoverage.my”.
Mr Leong continued, “This article related to the IMDB saga. I did not add any comments or embellish the article by The Coverage.my, but merely shared it”.
This was confirmed by local media site The Online Citizen, who noted that “that the article was shared without any captions. Meaning Leong did not include any comments of his own other than sharing the STR article.”
In his Facebook post that day, Mr Leong also wrote, “On the 10th of November, I received a notice from IMDA with a demand that the shared post be taken down within 6 hours. I complied with that demand”.
Earlier today (September 26), Leong’s lawyer Lim Tean shared, “I shall be arguing Leong Sze Hian’s Appeal against the striking out of his Counterclaim for damages against Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for abuse of process of the Court, in the Court of Appeal tomorrow.
The hearing starts at 230 pm and is open to the public”.
He added that the panel of three judges hearing the appeal will be Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, Justice Of Appeal Andrew Phang And Justice Of Appeal Judith Prakash.
The dates for the defamation trial has not been revealed as of yet.
The hearing on Friday (September 27) will be to determine whether Leong Sze Hian is allowed to pursue a counterclaim for damages against the Prime Minister for alleged abuse of process of the Court. /TISG