KJ fails in bid to amend statement in Anwar suit

KUALA LUMPUR - Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has failed in his bid to amend his defence statement in the RM100mil (S$39 million) defamation suit brought against him by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Judicial Commissioner S.M. Komathy Suppiah dismissed the application by Khairy, who is the Umno Youth chief, after meeting the parties in chambers.

She held that the proposed amendment did not reflect with any clarity the alternative meaning of the words, and ordered Khairy to pay RM5,000 in costs. The court fixed Nov 22 for case management.

On Aug 13, High Court judge Justice Hue Siew Kheng made the decision to preclude Khairy from defending the suit for failing to comply with her order to file various documents for the trial.

The Court of Appeal had in June held that Khairy could defend himself in the suit after it allowed his appeal and ordered for the trial to be heard before a new judge.

Anwar filed his RM100mil defamation suit against Khairy on March 7, 2008, alleging that the latter, as the then Umno Youth deputy chief, had uttered defamatory words at a ceramah in Lembah Pantai earlier that year.

He said the defamatory words, among others, meant that he was involved in activities contradictory to Islam, was not of good character and not fit to hold political or other positions.