If a statement about a person 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. 1.2 Problem Statement. Among the defences relied on by C was the defence of fair comment. [Peninsular Malaysia--1 July 1957; Sabah and Sarawak--6 May 1965, L.N. Libel is when such words are expressed in a permanent form. 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. In this article, we’ll be looking at civil defamation as this is more relevant to the topic. Norchaya Talib. 179/1965] Short title 1. letter to C’s superiors in the company and the president of the union of employees in the company. 1.The statement must be published Defamation is the publication of a statement which tends to lower a person in the estimation of right thinking members of society generally or which tends to … 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. – An implied or inferred or an indirect meaning; – Any meaning based on general knowledge. 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. 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. However, this defence will fail if the defamatory words were published with malice. B (company running a private hospital) and C (doctor in the private hospital) sued X and Y for defamatory statements published in a newspaper regarding the quality of medical treatment provided by B and C. However, the article in the newspaper only made reference to a “doctor” or “doctor in charge”. There are two types of defamation in Malaysia: libel and slander. The defence of qualified privilege is available where the defamatory words were: However, this defence will fail if the defamatory words were published with malice. The Defamation Act only applies to civil claims. 266 2. 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. Whether reasonable persons who know the plaintiff would conclude that the defamatory words refer to him or her. The term defamation is actually an umbrella for two types of wrongdoing: libel and slander. By their natural and ordinary meaning; or. Whether the defamatory words can be regarded as being capable of referring to the plaintiff; and. KAVIARASAN VEERAYAH. The Malaysian law on criminal defamation is governed by the Penal Code (particularly, section 499) and will not be the focus of this article. 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. Whether the defamatory words can be regarded as being capable of referring to the plaintiff; and. (Rawpixel pic) Many people have to deal with a toxic boss at one point or another in their career. 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. 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. Further, the article only mentioned that the private hospital was in Kedah without specifying the name of the hospital. 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 The law presumes that a person is of good character, unless proven otherwise. Academic year. Innuendo is used to describe words which have special meaning only to persons who have knowledge of some special background or facts. It goes through the nature and function of tort law, the rules and principles that govern it and the remedies available. In some countries journalists have to keep their heads down to avoid bullets. 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. Without knowing more about Kenny, it can be taken to mean that Kenny is a wealthy man who recently made another property investment. Instead, D should have reported the alleged wrongdoing to the MACC or the police. 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: – 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. [2] Pardeep Kumar a/l Om Parkash Sharma v Abdullah Sani bin Hashim [2009] 2 MLJ 685, [3] Abdul Rahman Talib v Seenivasagam & Anor [1965] 1 MLJ 142, [4] Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd v Tony Pua Kiam Wee [2015] 6 MLJ 187, [5] Reynolds v Times Newspapers Ltd and others [2001] 2 AC 127, [6] Gwee Tong Hiang v Boo Cheng Hau [2016] 2 MLJ 388, [7] JB Jeyaratnam v Goh Chok Tong [1985] 1 MLJ 334. and will not be the focus of this article. 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]. In Malaysia the dangers are different, but just as real. Keywords: Cyber Defamation, Internet Service Provider, Communication and Multimedia Act 1998 _____ Introduction Cyber Defamation, also known as Internet Defamation or Online Defamation, is defamation that occurs in the world of Internet and its users. The Defamation Act does not define the word “defamation”. Among the defences relied on by C was the defence of fair comment. – The defence of absolute privilege can still succeed even if the statement was made with malice by the defamer. At common law there are two types of defamation: 1. There are two types of defamation that a plaintiff can establish in his suit for defamation. person’s honest belief in the truth of the defamatory words is no defence if the defamatory words turns out to be untrue. Essentials of Defamation – There are three main essentials of Defamation viz., 1. However, for those who know that Kenny is employed as a civil servant, the statement can be understood to mean that Kenny may be engaging in corrupt activities. 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. B will not be successful in raising the defence of justification unless B can prove that C did indeed engage in adultery. 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. The facts and circumstances of each and every case will differ and therefore will require specific legal advice. Defamation is the publication of a statement which reflects on a persons reputation and tends to lower him in the estimation of right thinking members of society generally or tends to make them shun or avoid him. 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. The Tort of Defamation: Concepts and Cases on Libel and Slander in Malaysia and Singapore Print The Tort of Defamation is an authoritative specialist text covering various defamation situations occurring in context of the Malaysian and Singapore's landscape. At common law, there are two types of defamation: For both libel and slander, a defamatory statement is required. D did not succeed on his defence of justification as D failed to prove that P had sought and obtained bribes from the businesswomen. What happens if I die without a will? The statements implied that B was a ‘diploma mill’. B will not be successful in raising the defence of justification if B can only prove that there was such a rumour. spoken words. Libel means that the statement was made in printed form. C. Types of defamation 266 1. For both libel and slander, a defamatory statement is required. Types of defamation. Retention sum is a…, “Prestige Malaysia 40 Under 40 2020: Meet the all-female honour roll Prestige Malaysia rings in…, Since the announcement by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on 16.3.2020…, The importance of preparing a will could not be overemphasised. 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. Universiti Malaya. 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. D published a defamatory statement that he received information from a businesswoman that P had sought and obtained bribes from her. Additionally, for slander to be actionable, generally a person is required to prove that he/she suffered actual damage or special damage. The defence of qualified privilege is available where the defamatory words were: – 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, The person(s) to whom the words were published had a corresponding interest or duty to receive them.[3]. written words in articles, newspapers, Facebook posts or … Libel 266 Libel by omission? Pardeep Kumar a/l Om Parkash Sharma v Abdullah Sani bin Hashim [2009] 2 MLJ 685, Abdul Rahman Talib v Seenivasagam & Anor [1965] 1 MLJ 142, Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd v Tony Pua Kiam Wee [2015] 6 MLJ 187, Reynolds v Times Newspapers Ltd and others [2001] 2 AC 127, Gwee Tong Hiang v Boo Cheng Hau [2016] 2 MLJ 388, JB Jeyaratnam v Goh Chok Tong [1985] 1 MLJ 334, Where a Defendant is proven to be indifferent to the truth of the content published, especially where there are avenues for the d. The applicable legislation for defamation in Malaysia is the Defamation Act 1957 (“Defamation Act”). Course. 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. 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, the Defamation Act has remained unchanged since its enactment despite technological advances in communication, maturing standard in journalism and evolving societal values. 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. The statements implied that B was a ‘diploma mill’. This person also said that you are only in your current position due to certain “favours” provided to your superiors.  Case Example 1. The governing legislation for defamation in Malaysia is the Defamation Act 1957 (“Defamation Act”). Defamation occurs when a person expresses words or actions that may lower another person's reputation in the eye of public. 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. 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. However, the Defamation Act has remained unchanged since its enactment despite technological advances in communication, maturing standard in journalism and evolving societal values. Statements given to police under Section 112 of the Criminal Procedure Code. 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. 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. Malaysia: Defamation Act 1957 Type of defamatory statement 1) Libel: statements made in a permanent form. The Defamation Act 1957 was drafted and passed at the time when print and post were the technology of the day. D published a defamatory statement that he received information from a businesswoman that P had sought and obtained bribes from her. At common law, there are two types of defamation: Libel – defamation in permanent form e.g. 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”. 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. In Malaysia, the law which governed defamation is the Malaysian Defamation Act 1957. Instead, D should have reported the alleged wrongdoing to the MACC or the police. B publishes a statement about C having an extramarital affair after hearing a rumour about it. The Malaysian law on criminal defamation is governed by the Penal Code (particularly, section 499) and will not be the focus of this article. Instead, the definition of “defamation” is to be found in Malaysian case law and the English common law. Were defamatory of him these two forms of defamation: 1 burden of proof to show actual malice or disregard. Spoken, the statement was made with malice function of tort law, the defamation Act 1957 point or in... At face value this definition is obviously far reaching 7 ] however this. Should have reported the alleged defamatory statement about C having an extramarital.. Umbrella for two types of defamation: libel – defamation in temporary form e.g it goes the. Specific case burden of proof to show actual malice or reckless disregard in defamation law is higher... 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