Malaysia PMO minister sues whistleblower chief for misappropriated funds claim

KUALA LUMPUR: Minister in the Prime Minister's department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom has filed a defamation suit against National Oversight and Whistleblowers (NOW) director Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir for allegedly implying that he misused his power and misappropriated funds meant for orphans for leisure abroad.

He said Akmal had falsely published two libellous statements against him to media and on NOW's Facebook page.

The minister filed the suit at the High Court civil registry through his solicitor Adnan Seman on Thursday.

Jamil Khir's lead counsel, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said such a libel suit should be encouraged in order to stop a "culture of impunity".

"My client wants to clear his name and bring the matter to the court so that the public will know what is the truth. He is not scared as it is all defamatory," said Muhammad Shafee.

In his statement of claim, Jamil Khir said he had also issued a media statement denying the libellous claims and had demanded an apology and retraction within 24 hours but Akmal had failed to comply.

Jamil Khir is seeking general, aggravated and exemplary damages as well as an injunction order to stop Akmal from publishing any statement defaming him in any manner.

He also wants an apology to be published on Akmal's Facebook page, the NOW's website and in the newspapers.

The minister is also applying for an undertaking from Akmal that he will not publish any libellous words in future.