ALOR SETAR - Kedah Barisan Nasional working secretary Datuk Ariffin Man was ordered by a High Court here to pay RM150,000 (S$50,600) in damages to Bukit Lada assemblyman Datuk Ahmad Lebai Sudin for uttering defamatory remarks two years ago.
Judicial Commissioner Abu Bakar Katar ordered Ariffin to pay Ahmad Lebai RM100,000 in general damages and RM50,000 in aggravated damages and RM30,000 in costs.
Ahmad Lebai was also granted an injunction to prevent Ariffin, a former Bukit Lada assemblyman, from repeating the defamatory remarks.
The court held that Ahmad Lebai, who was the plaintiff, had proved that the remarks made in the speech at Dewan Sri Tanjung, Santap, in Pokok Sena, Kedah, were defamatory and referred to him.
The court also ruled that the defendant Ariffin failed to prove that his remarks were made as "fair comment", or with justification.
Ahmad Lebai said Ariffin had in his speech uttered the remarks which portrayed him as a traitor to Umno.
"The words used were also meant to portray me as a saboteur, a corrupt, someone who misused his power, without morals, principles and integrity," he said in his statement of claim.
Ahmad Lebai also said that as a result of the remarks, he had lost his reputation and this led to him losing his position as the Pokok Sena Umno branch chairman which he had held since 1998.
In his statement of defence, Ariffin alleged that there was evidence that Ahmad Lebai had betrayed the party in the general election in 2008.
He denied uttering defamatory and malicious statements and claimed that the remarks did not refer to Ahmad Lebai.