Ismail Sabri's defamation suit over turtle egg articles amicably settled

Khairah N. Karim

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s defamation suit against the publisher and editor of Daily Express over three articles alleging that turtle eggs were served at an event he attended in Sabah was resolved today.

The legal action came to an end after both parties reached an amicable settlement without the details being disclosed.

The settlement was recorded by judicial commissioner Darryl Goon Siew Chye in chambers.

This was disclosed by defendants James Sarda and Sabah Publishing Sdn (through its lawyer Bahg Sing) after the matter came up for case management today.

Ismail Sabri, who was not present during the proceedings, was represented by counsel Samsinaralia Sahar.

Ismail Sabri filed the suit on March 30 last year claiming that Sabah Publishing and James had wrongfully and maliciously published three articles in the Daily Express on protected turtle eggs served at a dinner function in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah which he attended in 2015.

In his statement of claim, Ismail Sabri claimed that the defamatory words against him in the articles titled “Minister and Sabah YB have yet to comply: Dept” dated Jan 24, 2016; “Beluran turtle eggs dinner: Findings left to the AG” dated Sept 3, 2016; and “Explain turtle egg confusion first, Lim tells Minister” dated Sept 6, 2016, were wrong, baseless and had tarnished his reputation as a politician.

He had sought an apology from the defendants, as well as RM10 million in general damages, aggravated damages and exemplary damages.

In their statement of defence, Sabah Publishing and James denied publishing and printing the articles with wrongful or bad intentions.

They said the articles published were produced under conditional safeguards and without malice. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd