written words in articles, newspapers, … However, B succeeded on the defence of fair comment on the basis that B’s statements were fair comment based on B’s honest and fair observations of what happened in the case. For example, the statement that “Kenny recently purchased a luxurious bungalow worth RM10 million” may not be defamatory under its natural and ordinary meaning. It is arguable, however, that progressive judgment and incremental changes come too slowly. Defamation - Summary Law of Torts in Malaysia. Shares. The Court held that the defence of fair comment was defeated by malice on the part of C as C “deliberately or at least recklessly abstained from availing themselves of means of information which lay at hand when the slightest inquiry would have shown that the imputation appearing in the article complained of were groundless”. Innuendo is used to describe words which have special meaning only to persons who have knowledge of some special background or facts. D published a defamatory statement that he received information from a businesswoman that P had sought and obtained bribes from her. In some countries journalists have to keep their heads down to avoid bullets. There are two methods of interpreting the words in an allegedly defamatory statement: – By their natural and ordinary meaning; or, The natural and ordinary meaning of words may be:[1]. Why do I need a will? There are two questions that have to be answered on the issue of reference to the Plaintiff:[2], 1. To prove defamation, the plaintiff must show (1) that the statement is false, (2) that it was published or communicated to a third person, (3) that there is fault amounting to at least negligence, and (4) that some harm was caused to the person or entity. In West Malaysia, the limitation period to bring an action in defamation is six (6) years. Instead, the definition of "defamation" is to be found in Malaysian case law and the English common law. (Rawpixel pic) Many people have to deal with a toxic boss at one point or another in their career. The Court held that the words published in their natural and ordinary meaning imputed to C the following: – That C was a rude and inconsiderate lawyer which caused everyone present in court, including the judge, to be uncomfortable; – That C was non-compliant of the judge’s directions; and. D published a defamatory statement that he received information from a businesswoman that P had sought and obtained bribes from her. P sued D for putting a notice up at the front wall of D’s house which stated, among others, that D’s neighbours have been stealing his mail. It is an established rule that defamation occurs where a material is read, heard or observed and the person defamed has a reputation to protect, not where the material originated (Aun, 2003). Note: This article does not constitute legal advice to any specific case. B publishes a statement about C having an extramarital affair, honestly believing it to be true. The Court held that D could not rely on the defence of qualified privilege as D did not have a duty to issue press statements regarding the information he received from the businesswoman and the press did not have a corresponding duty to receive the information. . Course. B had an interest or duty to report the complaints against the professional conduct of C to the DB for the DB to investigate the complaint under the Legal Profession Act 1976; The DB had a corresponding interest or legal duty as mandated by the law to receive the complaints. Defamation is the act of publishing an untrue statement which negatively affects someone’s reputation. The Court held that D could not rely on the defence of qualified privilege as D did not have a duty to issue press statements regarding the information he received from the businesswoman and the press did not have a corresponding duty to receive the information. not from the date the plaintiff first had knowledge. The Defamation Act does not define the word “defamation”. The information was obtained in 2012 but was not acted upon until 2013 (just before the 13th General Election) where D made the defamatory statement in two press conferences. Instead, the definition of “defamation” is to be found in Malaysian case law and the English common law. – An implied or inferred or an indirect meaning; – Any meaning based on general knowledge. 4 Laws of Malaysia ACT 286 Defamation 5 LAWS OF MALAYSIA Act 286 DEFAMATION ACT 1957 An Act relating to the law of libel and slander and other malicious falsehoods. Further, the Court also held that D’s actions were actuated by malice as D failed to inquire from P to verify the truth of the information that D received from the businesswoman when he could have done so but instead chose to publicise the information to the press to score political capital for himself and his political party ahead of the impending general elections. In an action for libel, the following elements need to be satisfied: – There is a defamatory statement made or conveyed by written or printed words or in some other permanent form; – The defamatory statement concerns the plaintiff; and, – The defamatory statement is published to a person other than the plaintiff. C. Types of defamation 266 1. Police Reports (First Information Reports under Section 107 of the Criminal Procedure Code); and. Examples of situations where malice may be found to exist are: B, an educational institution, sued C, a newspaper for publishing an article which contained statements which were defamatory of B. The Defamation Act only applies to civil claims. Whether the defamatory words can be regarded as being capable of referring to the plaintiff; and. The letter contains statements that potentially defame C. B’s letter of complaint to C’s superiors is likely to be protected by the defence of qualified privilege if the letter was published without malice as: – B had an interest or duty to report the poor or unlawful conduct of C to C’s superiors and the president of the union of employees in the company; – C’s superiors and the president of the union had a corresponding interest or duty to receive the report to ensure C’s conduct does not affect the company’s interests or the employees’ welfare. privilege and the acceptance that written statements includes digital publications. P sued D for putting a notice up at the front wall of D’s house which stated, among others, that D’s neighbours have been stealing his mail. However, many people put off…, Office Address Level 10-1, Tower B, Menara Prima, Jalan PJU 1/39, Dataran Prima 47301 Petaling Jaya Selangor, Malaysia Mon-Fri 9am-6pm T +6 03 7887 2702 F +6 03 7887 2703 M+6 017 887 2702, Terms of Use | PrivacyandPersonal Data Protection/a>, Corporate Advisory and Consultation Retainer, MWKA Online Talk: Breach of Contract: The COVID-19 Aftermath, FAQ on Retention Sum In Construction Contracts, Arbitration Act 2005 (Laws of Malaysia Act 646), MWKA Online Talk: Duties of Executors and Trustees: What You Need To Know, MWKA Online Talk: An Overview of Immigration Law in Malaysia, Jasmine Wong among 40 under 40 2020 by Prestige Malaysia, MCO, CMCO, RMCO, CMCO Again: Regulations and SOPs. The Defamation Act 1957 was drafted and passed at the time when print and post were the technology of the day.  The High Court held that this was insufficient to prove that the article referred to B and C. P and D are neighbours. The term defamation is actually an umbrella for two types of wrongdoing: libel and slander. Arbitration in Malaysia is governed by the Arbitration Act 2005 (Amended 2011), which is based on the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration. Perhaps a comprehensive review of the Defamation Act is necessary with the advent of the internet and various social media platforms, which can allow the spread of defamatory statements far faster and wider than ever envisioned by the drafters of the Defamation Act. By Raymond Mah and Eric Toh @ MahWengKwai & Associates. P and D are neighbours. A defamatory statement is a statement that: There are two methods of interpreting the words in an allegedly defamatory statement: The natural and ordinary meaning of words may be:[1]. written words in articles, newspapers, Facebook posts or Whatsapp messages; 2. Defamation occurs when a person expresses words or actions that may lower another person's reputation in the eye of public. A toxic boss can create a bad atmosphere in the workplace. Innuendo is used to describe words which have special meaning only to persons who have knowledge of some special background or facts. Whether the defamatory words can be regarded as being capable of referring to the plaintiff; and. Kenny recently purchased a luxurious bungalow worth RM10 million. It is arguable, however, that progressive judgment and incremental changes come too slowly. [7]  However, this defence will fail if the defamatory words were published with malice. There are two types of defamation in Malaysia: libel and slander. Examples of situations where malice may be found to exist are: B, an educational institution, sued C, a newspaper for publishing an article which contained statements which were defamatory of B. in relation to defamation is applicable in Malaysia. However, the Defamation Act has remained unchanged since its enactment despite technological advances in communication, maturing standard in journalism and evolving societal values. [Peninsular Malaysia--1 July 1957; Sabah and Sarawak--6 May 1965, L.N. In this article, we’ll be looking at civil defamation as this is more relevant to the topic. written words in articles, newspapers, Facebook posts or Whatsapp messages; Slander – defamation in temporary form e.g. For an action in slander, the following elements need to be satisfied: In an event attended by many of your colleagues, someone loudly exclaims that you are a lazy and incompetent worker. spoken words. Whether reasonable persons who know the plaintiff would conclude that the defamatory words refer to him or her. B publishes a statement about C having an extramarital affair honestly believing it to be true. The article contained a few statements which C, an advocate and solicitor, claimed was defamatory of him. B publishes a defamatory statement about C having an extramarital affair. In Malaysia the dangers are different, but just as real. The Law of Defamation provides legal protection for an intangible asset which means one's reputation. For both libel and slander, a defamatory statement is required. B will not be successful in raising the defence of justification if B can only prove that there was such a rumour. B will be successful in raising the defence of justification if B can prove that C did indeed engage in adultery. For example, the statement that “Kenny recently purchased a luxurious bungalow worth RM10 million” may not be defamatory under its natural and ordinary meaning. The applicable legislation for defamation in Malaysia is the Defamation Act 1957 (“Defamation Act”). Instead, the definition of “defamation” is to be found in Malaysian case law and the English common law. A person’s honest belief in the truth of the defamatory words is no defence if the defamatory words turn out to be untrue. B publishes a statement about C having an extramarital affair after hearing a rumour about it. By virtue of section 3 of the Civil Law Act 1956, the common law of England as at 7 April 1956 in relation to defamation is applicable in Malaysia. The statements implied that B was a ‘diploma mill’. There are two types of defamation—civil and criminal. The Malaysian Defamation Act 1957 does not define defamation. It is usually written and must also be visible. At common law there are two types of defamation: 1. Defamatory words published by repeating a rumour cannot be justified by proving that there was such a rumour. – Statements given to police under Section 112 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The book places great emphasis on the law of torts as developed in Malaysia and also includes cases decided in Commonwealth countries. Case Example 2: Generally, there are three types of damages in a defamation case: (1) actual damages, (2) assumed damages, and (3) punitive damages. What happens if I die without a will? The Defamation Act 1957 was drafted and passed at the time when print and post were the technology of the day. This article will provide a brief overview of the meaning of defamation, the elements required to bring a defamation action, defences, and the limitation period to bring a defamation claim in West Malaysia. Slander 266 D. Exceptions to the requirement of actual damage in cases of slander 268 1. Libel – defamation in permanent form e.g. Section 3 of the Malaysian Defamation Act 1957 provides that the broadcasting of words by means of radio communication shall be treated as publication & permanent form & therefore constitutes a libel. The time begins to run from the date of publication of the defamatory statement and not from the date the plaintiff first had knowledge of the defamatory statement. The origins in the common law of defamation are grievances (harmful statement in a transitory form, especially as spoken) and libel (harmful statement in a fixed medium, especially writing but also a picture, sign, or electronic broadcast), each of which gives a right of action. B (subordinate) authors a letter of complaint regarding the poor or unlawful conduct of C (supervisor) and delivers the letter to C’s superiors in the company and the president of the union of employees in the company. At common law, there are two types of defamation: Libel – defamation in permanent form e.g. A person will have to show that he/she suffered pecuniary loss or loss that is capable of being estimated in money directly due to the slanderous remarks made against him/her. In West Malaysia, the limitation period to bring an action in defamation is six (6) years. For an action in slander, the following elements need to be satisfied: – There is a defamatory statement made or conveyed by spoken words, sounds or in some other non-permanent form; – The defamatory statement concerns the plaintiff; – The defamatory statement is published to a person other than the plaintiff. There are two (2) elements which have to be satisfied for a defendant to succeed in raising the defence of Reynold’s Privilege:[4]. The Malaysian law on criminal defamation is governed by the Penal Code (particularly, section 499) and will not be the focus of this article. The common situations that the defence of absolute privilege may be raised are for defamatory words published in: The defence of absolute privilege can still succeed even if the statement was made with malice by the defamer. It goes through the nature and function of tort law, the rules and principles that govern it and the remedies available. Thus, statements in newspapers, books, letters, notices, articles are libels. The common law recognized two forms of defamation that is libel and slander. Defamation and libel ‘ it was once believed that to be sued was an American disease. If a statement is made about a person which is defamatory and affects the reputation of that person in the eyes of the public, that person may have a claim for defamation against the maker of that defamatory statement. Published by a person who has an interest or a duty, legal, social, or moral, to publish the words to the person(s) to whom they were published; and. University. The letter contains statements that potentially defame C. B’s letter of complaint to C’s superiors is likely to be protected by the defence of qualified privilege if the letter was published without malice as: B wrote and published a letter to the Advocates & Solicitors Disciplinary Board containing allegations that C (advocate & solicitor) intentionally deceived the Court and is unfit to practice as an advocate and solicitor. For the defence of fair comment to succeed, the following elements will have to be satisfied by the defendant:[6]. Uploaded by. 1. written words in articles, newspapers, … B’s letter to the Advocates and Solicitors Disciplinary Board (“DB”) is likely to be protected by the defence of qualified privilege if the letter was published without malice as: There are two (2) elements which have to be satisfied for a defendant to succeed in raising the defence of Reynold’s Privilege:[4], Some factors which can be taken into account in determining whether the defendant exercised ‘responsible journalism’ are:[5], For the defence of fair comment to succeed, the following elements will have to be satisfied by the defendant:[6], A fair comment may be defined as a comment which a fair-minded man holding strong views, obstinate views or prejudiced views could have honestly made based on the facts proved.[7]. Slander of woman (words that impute unchastity or adultery to any woman or girl); Slander affecting official, professional or business reputation; Slander which imputes a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment or corporal punishment. Slander – defamation in temporary form e.g. Slander in relation to a person's professional or business reputation 268 3. Famous Defamation Cases. However, this defence will fail if the defamatory words were published with malice. – Conveys an imputation on a person disparaging or injurious to his office, profession, calling, trade or business. There are two types of defamation that is. This is because it is usually difficult for a civil servant to be able to afford such a lavish home. provisions specifically on liability of internet service provider in Malaysia. 2. Slander (any false oral statement or representation that amounts to … Both defences of qualified privilege and fair comment will fail if it is proven that the defamatory words were published with malice. Types of Parliamentary Privilege: (Continuation) In Malaysia, save for one exception relating to sedition, the privilege of freedom of speech during parliamentary proceedings is absolute. You receive a message through Whatsapp accusing you of being a troublemaker and a dishonest person, and that Whatsapp group includes many of your neighbours. The Court held that the defence of fair comment was defeated by malice on the part of C as C “deliberately or at least recklessly abstained from availing themselves of means of information which lay at hand when the slightest inquiry would have shown that the imputation appearing in the article complained of were groundless”. No civil or criminal action can be taken against an MP for defamation or for the violation of the Penal Code, Official Secrets Act or any other criminal statute in relation to his parliamentary words. "This book simplifies a very specialised area of law and considers the latest cases in the area of defamation in Singapore and Malaysia, including defamation cases on the internet. Nevertheless, the Defamation Act provides that certain slanders are actionable without proof of special damage suffered: – Slander of woman (words that impute unchastity or adultery to any woman or girl); – Slander affecting official, professional or business reputation; – Slander which imputes a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment or corporal punishment. ” may not be defamatory under its natural and ordinary meaning. Feel free to contact us for complimentary legal consultation. The common situations that the defence of absolute privilege may be raised are for defamatory words published in: – Police Reports (First Information Reports under Section 107 of the Criminal Procedure Code); and. A person will have to show that he/she suffered pecuniary loss or loss that is capable of being estimated in money directly due to the slanderous remarks made against him/her. Libel- defamation in a permanent form & is usually visible to the eye, such as item in writing which includes e-mail, pictures,statues of effigies. This person also said that you are only in your current position due to certain “favours” provided to your superiors. The information was obtained in 2012 but was not acted upon until 2013 (just before the 13th General Election) where D made the defamatory statement in two press conferences. 1.2 Problem Statement. The time begins to run from the date of publication of the defamatory statement and not from the date the plaintiff first had knowledge of the defamatory statement. This might be true for some issues. The term "defamation" is an all-encompassing term that covers any statement that hurts someone's reputation, also called defamation of character. Libel means that the statement was made in printed form. A Comparative Legal Analysis of Online Defamation in Malaysia, Singapore and the United Kingdom January 2014 International Journal of Cyber-Security and Digital Forensics 4(1):314-326 Is used to describe words which have special meaning only to persons who have knowledge of some special or... Failed to prove that C did indeed engage in adultery by proving that there was a. Or duty to types of defamation in malaysia them justification unless b can prove that C did indeed engage in adultery an asset... 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