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If you think Shahrizat Jalil is taking leave to rest you are absolutely wrong. She actually needs the time to file a RM100 million defamation suit here against the opposition politicians who have been making revelations/accusations against her family in the reportedly messy National Feedlot Corporation or NFC scandal. The lady won’t take things laying down.

Anwar the de facto leader of the opposition party,PKR, used to file similar suits, i.e suing for this ridiculous sum to muzzle further comments on his character in the past. And, yes, his latest multi-million defamation suit against Utusan, the Malay language newspaper which commented negatively on his recent interview with British Broadcasting Corporation or BBC on gay rights in Malaysia here. This suing seems to be never-ending. In fact Anwar could be an arm chair multimillionaire if he were to win all those suits!

Through Shahrizat, PKR is now given a taste of their own medicine though I think the whole thing is an abuse of the court’s process. This kind of suit whether from the government or the opposition politicians is again using the court to settle political matters. The court has more pressing cases to attend to than dealing with this frivolous suit.

This culture of suing seems to be peculiar to Malaysia. When the wife of the chief of a European bank was found to benefit from some financial dealings related to the bank, her husband promptly resigned. There was no news of him suing the people who exposed the moral infraction.

Will this kind of suit stop the revelations of wrongdoings of people in power? The only workable solution is for credible anonymous reports of corruption to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Council or MACC to be speedily investigated without fear or favour and the guilty be dealt with by the court only then will the people have faith in the system. The corrupt will instead be officially and legally defamed.

But the legal process takes time and the opposition,wanting very much to capitalise on these negative practices of ‘government’s cronies” seeing that the general election is imminent, just cannot wait. This is all about political opportunities to demoralise your opponents in the eye of the voting public.

And so things are not that simple as in the contentious case of being legally right but morally wrong. To the general public the moral angle is just as important and is somehow crying out to be addressed.


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