Kota Kinabalu: A Catholic lawyer has filed a suit against the PAS president over his remarks on Christianity in a news portal.
Marcel Jude Joseph , 54, named Dato' Seri Haji Abdul Hadi Awang, who is currently Rhu Rendang Assemblyman and Marang MP, both in Terengganu, as the defendant.
Marcel, who is a member of the Sabah Bar and a member of the Sabah Catholic Lawyers Apostolate, filed the suit at the Sessions Court Registry via e-filing on Tuesday.
In his statement of claim, Marcel said on Jan 18, this year the online newspaper Free Malaysia Today or FMT published an article that originated from the defendant entitled "Christianity Rejected By The Educated, says Hadi".
Marcel claimed that the defendant made defamatory statements on the first, second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth paragraphs of the said article.
He claimed that as a direct and proximate result of the above described libellous and blasphemous publication, he has suffered a loss to his reputation and has suffered damages in an amount to be determined at trial.
The conduct of the defendant as herein alleged is despicable blasphemous and was undertaken by the defendant with wilful and conscious disregard of inter alia the reputation of the plaintiff, he said.
The plaintiff has in consequence been seriously injured in his character, credit and reputation and has been brought into public scandal, odium and contempt and hurt in his feelings.
The said statements were calculated to make the following negative and false inferences of the plaintiff and his faith and religious belief namely:
That the plaintiff has no genuine faith or religion; has no morals and belongs to an institution or religious institutions lacking in morality; the plaintiff is a member of a gangster or mafia like organisation engaged in unlawful and criminal activities; has no genuine spiritual or moral convictions and belongs to an organisation or faith that is equally lacking or void of such convictions; does not genuinely subscribe or believe in the tenets of the Rukun Negara namely Kepercayaan kepada Tuhan or Belief in God.
That the plaintiff is a member of an organisation that is morally and intellectually and spiritually bankrupt; the plaintiff by being a Christian cannot be trusted and has no credible faith; the plaintiff has no faith or genuine faith in God and is believer in or practises false or legitimate teachings; the plaintiff belongs to a faith or religion that is a sub culture of low esteem or of little or no integrity; the plaintiff belongs to a faith or religion that is uncivilised, little or no education and barbaric even the faith of the plaintiff is so low and worthless the plaintiff is fearful to engage in any useful dialogue or debate with his Muslim counterparts; the plaintiff is or is a member or a faith that is dangerous, manipulative and abhorrent willing to engage in all sorts of immoral activities including bribery and manipulation to further its immoral causes or objectives.
Marcel claimed further or in the alternative the statements of the defendant are lies that was uttered with malice, in that the defendant knew it was false or would cause damage or harm.
The defendant by reason of making such false statements had intended to publish injurious falsehood and slander against the plaintiff and the defendant knew or was reckless as to whether the said statements was not true, claimed Marcel.
Marcel claimed that in consequence, he is entitled to an additional award of punitive and/or exemplary damages in an amount sufficient to punish the defendant and to deter the defendant from committing such despicable acts or making such blasphemous statements in the future.
He is seeking damages for defamation against the defendant in the sum to be assessed; damages for blasphemy against the defendant in the sum to be assessed; damages for injurious and or malicious falsehood and slander against the defendant in the sum to be assessed; punitive damages against the defendant; Injunctive relief against the defendant restraining the said defendant from making defamatory, malicious, injurious ,blasphemous remarks about the plaintiff or his faith and religion; interest; cost and any other relief deemed fit by the court.