Hadi Awang's Defence To Sarawak Report's Counter-Claim Over Harassment
The solicitors to PAS President Hadi Awang, who has lodged legal proceedings against Sarawak Report, have expressed apparent surprise that we have not uploaded his recent defence against the counter-claim lodged by the Editor of this site for harassment against him, given that we earlier uploaded his original plea and our own defence and counterclaim.
In part this was to make sure that the courts had made the documents publicly available, which can take several days.
In the interest of disclosure and balance, therefore, we publish Mr Awang’s remarks below in full:
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
Claim No. HQ17M01386 QUEEN’S BENCH DIVISION
MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS LIST BETWEEN
HONOURABLE ABDUL HADI AWANG
CLARE REWCASTLE BROWN
DEFENCE TO COUNTERCLAIM
- References to paragraph numbers in this Defence to Counterclaim are references to paragraphs of the Defendant’s Defence and Counterclaim dated 11 October 2017.
- Paragraphs 31, 32 and 33 are denied, save that the fact of publication of the articles specified in paragraphs 22.2.1 to 22.2.7 is admitted.
- Save for the article dated 5 August 2017 (which was based on an official statement issued on behalf of the Claimant) it is denied that publication of any of the articles complained of as constituting a course of conduct amounting to harassment of the Defendant was either approved or authorised, aided, abetted, counselled or procured by the Claimant, whether by himself or by any third party for whose conduct he is vicariously liable (which is what the Claimant understands the Defendant to mean by “agent” in this context), whether in the manner or for the purposes alleged by the Defendant or at all.
- Information about these proceedings which was published in the articles complained of appears to have been largely derived from the Claimant’s official statement, other material publicly available or on the public record, or sources privy to the Defendant’s discussions with her lawyers. No information about these proceedings has been passed to the Third Force or Malaysia Today (or the Malaysian Government) with the knowledge, approval or authorisation of the Claimant, whether for the purposes alleged by the Defendant or at all. Insofar as any such information has been obtained by the Third Force and/or Malaysia Today from anyone privy to it as a result of a relationship with or connection to the Claimant or PAS that was done without the Claimant’s knowledge, approval or authority, and as such in circumstances where the Clamant is not vicariously liable for that conduct (even if such conduct could amount to harassment).
- Moreover, and in any event, the “self-evidently harassing intention and effect” of the articles complained of derives (as it appears to be alleged) not from the publication of information about the proceedings (something which the Defendant herself does regularly and could not sensibly object to) but from the abusive nature of the language used against the Defendant in the articles in question. It is denied, and the particulars of the claim in harassment present no case with a realistic prospect of success to the effect that, the Claimant is responsible, whether directly or through others, for those aspects of the articles which are said to amount to harassment.
- The suggestion that the Claimant has been responsible for the transmission of information to the websites in question “in order to discredit the case against Najib Razak and demonstrate his innocence”, is fanciful and is denied. That is no part of the purpose of the Claimant or this claim.
- In the circumstances the Claimant is not responsible for the publication of the articles complained of (save for the republication of the official statement of 5 August 2017) nor for any harassing effect which the articles may have had on the Defendant. Alternatively and in any event, it is denied that the publication of the specified articles constituted a course of conduct amounting to harassment of the Defendant by the publishers of those articles, or that the publication of any one of the articles, alone or in combination with any other, can or does form part of a course of conduct amounting to harassment of the Defendant by those publishers (against whom, strikingly, the Defendant appears to have elected not to seek relief). This is apparent both from the content of the articles and the context and circumstances in which they were published, as set out below.
Context and the conduct of the Defendant
- The Defendant is an active and vociferous opponent of the Malaysian government and the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, as is demonstrated by her public writings, and her Defence in this claim.
- The Defendant’s public campaigning against Najib Razak extends to attacks on those who appear publicly to support him, such as “RPK” and the online news blogs Malaysia Today and the Third Force, both of which regularly publish RPK’s writings. The Defendant’s attacks regularly include questioning the motives, honesty and credibility of Najib Razak supporters such as RPK, and publishing personal information about him and his family. As well as making direct attacks herself, the Defendant publishes similar attacks by others on her Sarawak Report website.
- Equally, apparent supporters of Najib Razak, such as RPK, regularly publish attacks on the Defendant which also question her motives, honesty and credibility.
- The critical writing and political and personal attacks of the Defendant and her followers on the one hand, and RPK, Malaysia Today and the Third Force on the other, are often very strongly worded, using coarse and aggressive language rarely encountered in mainstream English political discourse. By contrast, public statements by or on behalf of the Claimant or PAS in relation to the Defendant, and this case, have been measured and reasonable, as can be seen from the list of statements pleaded at paragraph 22.1.1 to 22.1.10 and the fact that no such statement is relied on as a particular of harassment.
- This pattern of attack and counter-attack by the Defendant and her detractors long predates the four week period in 2017 in which the specified articles were published, and has continued, on both sides, since then.
- In the context described above and particularised below, the language used by those who published the articles complained of (for which the Claimant bears no responsibility) whilst extreme and deplorable in parts, does not cross the boundary from the unattractive and unreasonable to the unacceptable and oppressive, such that it would sustain criminal liability and amount to harassment under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, nor would the reasonable person think that it would. Further, when the context is understood, the suggestion that the Defendant has suffered severe stress, anxiety or distress (as alleged in paragraph 35 or at all) as result of the publication of the specified articles is incredible and is denied.
- The Claimant will rely on the following as examples of material published by the Defendant which support the case stated above
- 14.1. In an article published on Sarawak Report dated 18 June 2016 headed “Lies, Damned Lies And RPK!” the Defendant launched an extensive and detailed attack on RPK, calling him “self- important”, “deceitful, discredited and unreliable”, “cringing”, “puffed-up”, “ranting”, “yellow” (i.e. cowardly) and referring to his “outrageous lies”, “deliberate deceit and lying” and “pathetic vanity”.
- 14.2. In the 18 June 2016 article the Defendant gave a blow-by-blow account of a recent legal dispute between her and RPK. She describes how in the early stages of that dispute RPK “pretends he doesn’t reside at his own address”, “pleads utter poverty”, and “mewls that it isn’t worth suing him”. She then reports how RPK had denied being responsible for Malaysia Today despite it being “the source of all his puffed up notoriety” but that Malaysia Today had nevertheless issued an apology to the Defendant in the hope by RPK that “this dual strategy of semi-apology and semi-denial would ward off SR’s [i.e. Sarawak Report’s] famously mean and hungry firm of lawyers and get him off the hook over all the lies he had uttered in his proclaimed role as Najib’s proxy.”
- 14.3. The 18 June 2016 article included reference to RPK’s mother, to his wife and son, to his ethnic origin and to his nationality. The Defendant wrote as follows:
- 14.4. The Defendant provides a facility below each of her articles on Sarawak Report for the publication of readers’ comments, using the comments functions of Facebook and the Disqus platform.
- 14.5. Such comments are published below the following request and warning: Your views are valuable to us, but Sarawak Report kindly requests that comments be deposited in suitable language and do not support racism or violence or we will be forced to withdraw them from the site.
- 14.6. On the basis of the statement set out above, and the fact that some comments underneath various articles on Sarawak Report have been deleted, the Claimant will invite the Court to infer that the Defendant is in the habit of reading the comments below her articles and choosing which comments to continue to allow the publication of on her website.
- “the proud “Malay blogger”, who pours bile on non-Malays, is not actually Malay anymore himself” “his claims to be a “real Malay” are therefore as bogus as much of the rest of what he writes”.
- 14.7. The comments which the Defendant has chosen to continue publishing include the most viciously abusive, racist and homophobic attacks on RPK and others. Comments have gone so far as to urge RPK to kill himself and to threaten serious violence against him. By allowing the continued publication of such material, the Defendant thereby encourages further such comments, and foments the coarseness of the debate.
- 14.8. The 18 June 2016 article on Sarawak Report, extracts from which are quoted above, prompted just such comments about RPK, which have been published by the Defendant to date. The comments began in a racist tone, picking up directly from the Defendant’s comments about RPK’s Welsh mother, and proceeded with further extensive vile personal abuse which should have no place on any website, let alone of that of a journalist who claims to be publishing responsibly and in the public interest. The most serious of the comments in question are set out immediately below (spelling and punctuation idiosyncrasies in the original are preserved):“…this “Welay(Welsh Malay) or Laywel(Malay Welsh) since he is not a pure Malay but rojak [i.e. mixed], a product of the night he got hot and he was conceived.The best way is to ignore this retard foreigner since he is NO longer holds malaysian citizenship.”“This half breed mongrel will sell his mother for a dime”“he is a crook to me anyway. He is earning a living by deceitful mean. Forget him and treat him as DEAD.”“Bravo Clare, you really stripped him naked down to his beard and silly beret!”
- “RPK is nothing but a deceitful, snivelling, self-centred money grabber Judas. He is beholden only to his self interest and he would willingly sell his gutless soul to the highest bidder. It so happens the highest bidder has more then enough billions to buy satanism himself.
- The truth always prevails. Najib’s case is just a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. Remember how many years it took for Osama to be taken out? It’s not a question of if but when?”
- “I’d call him a whore, a one trick donkey whore. For he knows only one trick and sells his body & soul to perverts of DUMNO BN & PAS.”
- “Talk Big + Talk cock + Big Ego + Tiny Brain + puny balls = RPK”
- “Thank You SR for exposing this deceitful lying scoundrel. We already knew who he is, but this showing the altered mast head and all are evidence of a lying scoundrel who have big ego and talk big, unfortunately no balls at all.”
- “You go girl! Get him! Squeeze his tiny Bugis balls! The ball headed fucktard should be taught a lesson! He’s not just bipolar, but multipolar shithead whose brain is so raped, sodomized and filled with najis.”
- “Yes, he is a fake Malay but a favourite by the Malay supremacist elite class, a Eurasian of Malay breed that enjoy the best of both worlds. So they can get a share of the Anglo- ness of it all, projecting to the gullible masses just like the Kings of old with Arab stock in them, as an elite class of the Malay race.”
- “what an idiot selling his a to z to bootlicking some arses. shame to humankind. fit to join animal hell.”
- 14.9. The coarseness of the political discourse with which the Defendant is engaged, and her willingness to publicise and exploit legal disputes in which she is involved for her political and campaigning purposes, is further exemplified by her public statements in relation to this case and in relation to the Claimant. As pleaded at paragraphs 23.2.2 and 23.2.3 of the Particulars of Claim, on 17 December 2016 the Defendant accused the
- Claimant of “posturing in the media” and on 11 February 2017, when the Claimant had not yet issued proceedings, she accused him in an article on Sarawak Report of having “chickened out”.
- 14.10.The 11 February 2017 article referred to above prompted the following comments beneath, which the Defendant has continued to publish to date:
- “Two months on, we assume he chickened out.”
- Liar. Fake religious man. Real Fucktard.
- And they want to run the country…. to the ground 6 feet under.
- We say: Get lost. Go die. Already.”
- 14.11.The Defendant continued to cooperate with media reporting of these proceedings in the weeks before they were issued, telling Free Malaysia Today, as quoted in an article dated 8 April 2017 headed “Where’s your suit, Sarawak Report editor asks PAS”:
- They threatened to sue me within a week if I didn’t do lots of things in mid-December … but didn’t” [ellipsis in original]
- 14.12. On 6 June 2017 the Defendant returned to the attack on RPK, in an article on Sarawak Report under the heading “Does Blogger ‘RPK’ Still Stand By His Earlier Testimony?” in which she contrasted RPK’s “unflinching and unquestioning support of the Prime Minister” with his previous writings.
- 14.13. The 6 June 2017 article prompted the following comments, which include death threats aimed at RPK and which the Defendant has continued to published on her blog to date:“Show us your balls RPfuckingK! Now is the time!! Or simply fuck off and shut up for good.”
- “The botak head RPfuckingK has responded to this article on his blog. Let SR rebut first, then we shall take out our hammers and AK4007! RPfuckingK, get ready ya!”
- “So said RPfuckingK. Perhaps it is he who needs to improve and quickly brush up his own debating skills! We’re looking forward to debating you on this latest SR expose of you RPthefucktardK. Carry this SR piece on MT if you have balls. And then refute it with your brilliant bugis bullshit logic.”
- “Since the clown likes to boast about himself, he should be a man and kill himself rather than let others threaten him with anything.”
- “Alamak, RPK why so careless not to delete such damaging article of yours! Aiya, too late, people already print out all lah! Maybe you can say the old article was written when you have smoked too much Marijuana…”
- “He’s turned into a snake willing to get sodomized by najis and his fuck aides. That’s all I know to date. Surprise me, you fucking fag. I trust that SR has lots more on this fuckwit.
- Stay tuned, people!!”
- “I don’t know whether he is a bad guy or not. But what I do know is that he is a despicable unscrupulous piece of horse dung, judging by what he wrote.”
- “This RPK has been sodomized by the whole of dumno, didn’t we know mamak fucked face shafee was in it right from the start. Even sleep pak lah was not awake by these scums…. Say something RPK, you fucking fag!!”
- 14.14.In an article published on Sarawak Report dated 18 June 2017 headed “The Comical Alis Of UMNO – Commentary” the Defendant described RPK as “Malaysia’s ludicrous fugitive blogger” and wrote the following about him:
- “NST [i.e. the New Straits Times] readers (if there are any) must have been puzzled by the story (known as a distraction in the business) given that RPK’s flights of fancy were not backed by any evidence or reporting by the paper on the
- “Just likeComical Ali, the feisty guy who continued to champion the doomed Sadam regime on all the world’s TV screens as the smoke poured from the skys and the drone of
- 14.15. The 18 June 2017 article prompted the following comment which the Defendant has continued to published on her blog to date:
- “Why doesn’t that fucktard RPK travel to the US to present his “evidence” if any, to the DoJ.”
- 14.16. In an article published the next day on Sarawak Report dated 19 June 2017 headed “The Latest From Najib’s Comical Alis” the Defendant again described RPK as one of Najib’s “Comical Alis” entrusted “to come up with various entertaining defensive arguments for the Malaysian mainstream media to pick up, without daring to report what had been actually said by the DOJ”.
- 14.17. The 18 June 2017 article prompted the following comments which the Defendant has continued to published on her blog to date:“You can say that again about the pariah dogs and the chief pariah dog RPK.Point by point, anyone with a little bit of a brain mass will be able to see that UMNO and RPK are full of shit. So full of shit.”“Comical RPK, just like the rest of the comical UMNO stooges. CIA might well be escorts for hire. BUT, Malaysian opposition simply can’t afford them. So, nice try RPK. Try harder, and make yourself look as silly and idiotic like all the UMNO buffoons.”
- 14.18.In an article published on Sarawak Report dated 19 July 2017 under the heading ‘Global Conspiracy’ Targets New Torpedo Against Malaysia’s Beleaguered Leader’ the Defendant described RPK as one of Najib’s “fast evaporating fan club” and wrote:
- The reason for the ‘plot’ changes as often as it is written about, but the theme remains that others are ganging up on
- US bombers filled the air around him, BN’s own Comical were in lonely action over the weekend – speaking up for various reasons in defence of the ‘innocent’ and ‘invincible’ Najib.”
- this innocent Malaysian leader, owing to selfish designs of extreme complexity. As the list of countries laying charges at this kleptocrat’sdoor enlarges, information about these webs of supposed intrigue are pumped out over the internet all the more enthusiastically, replete with pictures and flow charts stuffed with arrows linking one ‘accuser’ to another. The bloggers RPK/ Third Force/Malaysia Outlook, who most specialise in such material, have declared the writer of Sarawak Report, for example, to be simultaneously a ‘CIA agent’ behind the action by the United Sates; an agent for France seeking energy contracts in China; an agent for ‘the global Jewish plot’ organised by the transparency campaigner George Soros; an agent for the ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed and so forth.
- 14.19.The 19 July 2017 article prompted the following comments, including gratuitous references to a restaurant run by RPK’s son in Manchester, which the Defendant has continued to published on her blog to date:
- “Oh fuck off already Khalil RPK (Relist, Ahmad, and whatever other handles you used). You are more than an idiot. A fucking idiot.”
- “Hi RPK, so fucking free ah you??
- Nobody in Manchester buys your fucking Nasi Lemah?!? Get a fucking life will ya RPK?”
- “Obviously idiot like you KamilRPK wouldn’t understand what is sarcasm. It’s call FUCK YOU IN THE FACE! Stupid moron.”
- “And RPK… talk more nonsense, please. Show off your Nobel Prize-worthy brain. Go ahead, embarrass yourself!”
- 14.20.On 2 August 2017 the Defendant returned to publishing information about these proceedings. In an article on Sarawak Report headed “So Who Is Supporting ‘Opposition” PAS Leader, Hadi Awang, In His Suit Against SR?” the Defendant purported to report on the security for costs hearing in this case before Master Davison which had taken place on 2 August 2017.
- 14.21.The 2 August 2017 article in fact contained an unfair and significantly inaccurate account of the hearing before Master Davison. It contained statements about that hearing which the Defendant, having attended, knew to be untrue, such as the claim that the Claimant’s lawyers had told the Court “that there is no evidence of corruption in high places in Malaysia”. In that article the Defendant took the opportunity to repeat the substance of her allegations against the Claimant which are complained of in these proceedings and to advance the case which has now found its way into the Defence in these proceedings that “this is not a case being brought [by] Hadi but by the Malaysian government”.
- 14.22. In the usual way, and as the Defendant would have foreseen and expected, her 2 August 2017 article prompted abusive comments by her supporters, about both the Claimant and PAS, and about RPK; comments which the Defendant has continued to publish to date on her website.
- 14.23. The Claimant will rely on the following comments about him and PAS, comments which (in addition to repeating the Defendant’s allegations of corruption) include highly offensive remarks about the Claimant’s health, his family and his religious faith:This is so obvious that Najis has lured the unholy opposition PAS to be his dirty ally through bribery With all the evidences and supported documents, SR will win this case. Najis’s regime and PAS are corrupted to the core. Najis bastard is spending taxpayers’ money as he wishes, wasting here again in lawsuit.Brilliant Job SR! Please continue to expose the devil side of PAS! Leaders of PAS are total hypocrites…Where is your RM90million? Why were you not present or send your representative to the hearing? Stop pretending to be sick Hadi? Another arab donor is paying for them, I gues and this one has Indo blood who cant’ speak Engrrrisshhh for shits!! His name is FuckMeDi,
- The court case is between Hadi of PAS and SR but why do Malaysians high commission in UK interferes. Why does Hadi Awang chicken out? SR him hard where it hurets the most SR. They just pretend that they have NO money.Where do they hide the RM90 million?? Be a man PAS!!
- Remember Hadi Awang has 4 wives same as his fellow PAS members. Luxury & Lambroghini cars cost plenty. From their current wages & bribes from illegal logging, just not enough for wives that like Birkin & Hermes handbags & meals at 5- star hotels everyday for their entourage.
- This despicable Taliban Arab wannabe should be riding a camel and lives in caves instead of driving luxury cars and living in luxury modernised dwellings.
- Officially, Hadi the dick has RM16k as MP. But unofficially is anyone’s guess!!
- …and this hadi is dumb enough to get sodomized by najis from behind in babi style and act as one. A clear fucked up no-brainer!! Too fucking obvious Najib is using tax payers money to try & intimidate SR with Carter Ruck. Not to worry Clare, Malaysians will back you all the way to defeat the Crime Minister & his dying comrade Hadi Awang with facts & nothing but the true facts. Carter Ruck is a paid mouthpiece but they will face the wrath of the Malaysian Rakyat if they try to camouflage the truth from the British Court. If Hadi Awang is innocent & a true Muslim he need not count on Najib Razak using stolen money to prick him up. How come Hadi Awang moneybagman Nasharuddin, Malaysia Muslim scholar with 4 wives that drives around town with Lambroghini to entice young Muslim ladies has disappeared in thin air after being named by Rafizi for receiving millions from Najib to front the National Muslim spokesman? Scholar my arse!!! He is keeping the 90M Ringgit meant for Hadi Awang, who is hoping to bring the 90M with him to bribe the 40 Virgins afterlife.
- 14.24.The following comments about RPK were prompted by the Defendant’s 2 August 2017 article, which continue the racist and homophobic theme apparent in earlier such comments, and which the Defendant continues to publish: But our dear RPK is still peddling bullshit Half Malay bullshitting Malays and all Malaysians So says the RPK Princess By the way, RPK, by Zahid’s definition, you are also NOT Malay. Mahathir has Indian heritage, RPK has White Bloodline. Half White, which probably make you Half Might, and Half Right?! Hehehe! A mulatto!… this poofter RPK …
- RPK, you are one of the biggest fuckwits ever alive!!
- Well, he’s still trying to sell the Arab donors bullshit story like he’s trying to sell stale nasi lemak to people in Manchester!
- That is what RPK is all about, repeat the lies often enough, hoping that idiots in Malaysia would then believe his lies. The same old UMNO BN tricks.
- Gotta give it to him, facial skin so freaking thick! And then his daughter joined Gerakan, calling it a multi-racial party! But DAP is more multi racial than Gerakan, DAP has many Indians, Sikh, Malays in leadership roles… and RPK labelled DAP as a Chinese party, and the fucking Gerakan that his daughter joined is multi-racial…. come kiss my butt RPK! Your brain is under your feet it seems! Nothing in that botak head of yours.
- 15.Into that context the first article complained of by the Defendant in her harassment claim was published; the article dated 5 August 2017 relied on at paragraph 22.2.1.
- Article dated 5 August 2017. 16mThis article was a report of an official statement issued on behalf of the Claimant and PAS on 5 August 2017. The official statement, and the report of it complained of, contained a fair and accurate report of the security for costs hearing before Master Davison on 2 August 2017, and a restrained and reasonable expression of opinion that the result of that hearing had been a “very positive development” for the Claimant. Neither the statement nor the article reporting it could sensibly form a particular of a claim in harassment.
- Article dated 6 August 2017
- 17.Paragraph 3 above is repeated
- 18.The 6 August 2017 article was primarily a further account of the 2 August 2017 security for costs hearing, largely based on the Claimant’s official statement referred to above (which was quoted). The author gave his own spin to the events of the 2 August 2017, which was not derived from the official statement, and took the opportunity to launch an independent attack on the Defendant. The Claimant can bear no responsibility for those elements of the article, which, it is assumed, are said to form its harassing nature.
- 19.In the context of the coarse political discourse indulged in and encouraged by the Defendant and her supporters, as outlined out above, the allegations against the Defendant in the 6 August 2017 (“fake news”, “lies” “nutcase” “dumb”) do not and cannot constitute part of a course of conduct of harassment of the Defendant by the publishers of that article, nor would a reasonable person think that they could.
- Article dated 23 August 2017 20.Paragraph 3 above is repeated.
- 21.The 23 August 2017 article concerned information which the author claimed to have obtained from his “sources in the US” to the effect that the Defendant had changed her lawyers because her previous lawyers had sought an up-front payment their fees of £100,000 (information which obviously could not have been available to the Claimant or anyone deriving their information from him or his lawyers).
- 22.In the article the author revisited some of the ground which had been covered in the 6 August 2017 article and again launched an attack on the Defendant. The attack was very strongly worded, vulgar and abusive. As stated above, the Claimant is not responsible for the publication of this article, let alone the abusive language contained within it, but in any event, in the context given above, the article did not cross the line into oppressive and unacceptable behaviour such as could sustain criminal liability and so constitute harassment on the part of those who were responsible for publishing it.
- 23.The Defendant’s attitude to the 23 August 2017 article was illustrated by her reaction to it, which was to return to the attack herself on her website, publishing two separate pieces the next day, 24 August 2017, attacking both the Claimant and RPK.
- 24.In the first piece, headed “For The Avoidance of Doubt” the Defendant published the first three paragraphs of the 23 August 2017 article, including the section which accused her of fabricating evidence. She followed that with a section entitled “Our comment”, in which (without provocation from him) she attacked the Claimant’s conduct in bringing these “contrived” proceedings as “a blatant attempt to silence honest reporting”.
- 25.She also took the opportunity to attack RPK (whom she regarded as responsible for the 23 August 2017 article) accusing him of mispresenting the issues in this case and attributing “false quotes”. She stated that she “would relish encountering both him [i.e. RPK] and Hadi
- Awang in a London court room”. The republication of sections of the article said to have been an instance of harassment, and the publicity thereby given to it, and the “relish” of the Defendant in the prospect of confronting RPK, are each inconsistent with her claim to have suffered severe distress at the publication of the original article.
- Predictably, and as the Defendant would have foreseen and expected, her article prompted further attacks on RPK in the comments section below the article, including allegations that he is a “scumbag” and a “turncoat” and the threatening call to action contained in the following comment:
- Don’t waste time with this parasite of Najib! Now that we know of his little cafe in Manchester, we should organise an interesting inspection to be made by the health inspector SOON!
- 27.The second article published by the Defendant on Sarawak Report dated 24 August 2017 was headed “The Signs Are Full Steam Ahead For An October Election Option – But Trump Visit Will Backfire Badly!”. In it the Defendant wrote the following:
- Opponents have already noted with weary recognition the heightened hysteria from Najib’s teams of ‘cyber-warriors’ and ‘perception war-mongers’, who get extra dedak [i.e. payment] at such times, and the growing level of public accusations, aggressive legal persecutions and ‘crackdowns’ on critics.
- We can all look forward to more: improbable and disreputable individuals will be dragged before cameras to ‘confess’ to having ‘collaborated’ with Najib’s various political enemies and civil society detractors; Royal Commissions will be called for to investigate anything under the sun (as long as it does not involve matters such as Altantuya, 1MDB, Scorpene, defence contracts or judicial persecutions) and yet more wild global conspiracy theories and nonsense accusations will be confected out of the back of the nasi lemak cafe in Moss Side, Manchester owned by the son of Najib’s self-proclaimed ‘proxy’ blogger, ‘RPK’ and elsewhere.
- 28.As usual, the Defendant’s second attack on RPK on 24 August 2017 prompted others to pick up the baton in the comments section below the article, which included the following, still published by the Defendant to date:
- “So says RP stupid donkey K!”
- “RPK Bullshitting (As Always!)” “RPK… desperado.”
- “Sorry to spoil your wet dream RPK.”
- “RPK the master moron in Manchester!”
- “Only DUMNO dumb asses & moron like RPK would.”
- Article dated 25 August 2017
- 29.Paragraph 3 above is repeated.
- 30.The 25 August 2017 article was, on its face, a response to the article published by the Defendant the day before under the heading “Our Comment”. It contained no information about this case which had not been published before. The article began by reproducing the Defendant’s article in full. It then proceeded to accuse the Defendant of “idiocy” because it alleged, the 23 August 2017 article which the Defendant was responding to had not been written by RPK. The article continued in a similar abusive vein as before, accusing the Defendant of being an “incondite of a yokel” but not crossing the line into oppressive conduct such as would sustain criminal liability.
- Article dated 31 August 2017
- 31.Paragraph 3 above is repeated.
- 32.The 31 August 2017 article reported that the Defendant had failed to meet a deadline given by the Court for service of her Defence, and had asked for an extension. Again the article contained serious and strongly worded criticism of the Defendant, however the strongest attack on her was in relation to issues unrelated to the Claimant or this claim, namely a suggestion that she had received a large amount of money from former Malaysian Prime Minister Mohamed Mahathir to pay her for attempts to depose Najib Razak. Again, put in context with the very much more serious personal, threatening and abusive material happily published by the Defendant, this article did not cross the line into oppressive or unacceptable conduct.
- Article dated 2 September 2017
- 33.Paragraph 3 above is repeated.
- 34.This article returned to the theme of the 31 August 20167 article, namely that the Defendant was being funded by Mohamed Mahathir. It contained no information about these proceedings which had not previously been published. It contained northing which, in context, crossed the line into oppressive or unacceptable conduct.
- 35.The Defendant responded to the Mohamed Mahathir allegation in strong terms on 3 September 2017. In an article published on the online news portal Free Malaysia Today under the heading: “The Third Force is a propaganda blog, says Rewcastle-Brown”, the Defendant described the Third Force’s publications on 31 August and 2 September 2017 as “malicious and highly inaccurate spinning by an anonymous and habitually libellous propaganda blog”.
- 36.In that Free Malaysia Today article the Defendant’s primary complaint was that the New Straits Times had republished some of the allegations of the Third Force. She expressed her “shock” at that, but said the following in relation to the Third Force publication: This is an extremely serious, libelous and wholly untrue accusation of the sort that I have become used to from various anonymous and unattributed fringe blogs.
- 37.The Claimant will rely on the Defendant’s contemporaneous public statement that she had “become used to” attacks such as that made on her by the Third Force as more accurately reflecting her state of mind at the time than her subsequent contention in this claim to have suffered extreme distress.
- Article dated 4 September 2017
- 38.Paragraph 3 above is repeated.
- 39.The 4 September 2017 article was on its face a response to the Defendant’s attack on the Third Force published the day before in the Free Malaysia Press, the opening words quoting the Defendant’s description of the Third Force as a “habitually libelous propaganda blog”. It contained little information about these proceedings, and none which had not been published before. In it the author sought to attack the Defendant through linking her to the expenses scandal at the UK Parliament. The author used offensive racist terms, labelling the Defendant “white trash”. This is the only article of those complained of in the Defendant’s harassment claim in which a racist term is used (by contrast with the repeated racist abuse of RPK published by the Defendant on Sarawak Report). Whilst such language is plainly oppressive and unacceptable, on its own and in context this article is not sufficient to ground a course of conduct amounting to harassment. The particulars pleaded in support of the Defendant’s harassment claim do not set out a case with any realistic prospect of success that the Claimant is responsible for this abuse of the Defendant, which he deplores.
- 40.The Defendant has continued her public commentary on these proceedings subsequent to the period of the alleged harassment. On 6 October 2017 the Defendant was quoted on the Free Malaysia Today blog saying that she would be filing her Defence “soon”.
- 41.On 30 October 2017 the Defendant posted in full on Sarawak Report the Defence and Counterclaim in this action. As is apparent from the Defence, it is the Defendant, not the Claimant, who regards this claim as a vehicle through which to ventilate “the case against Najib Razak” and to promote her “campaign that Najib Razak be removed from office and brought to justice.” The allegations in the Defence against the Claimant, and other members and officers of PAS, although allegations of the most serious corruption, take up only a small part of the Defence, are almost wholly unparticularised and appear largely to be nothing more than bare assertion and conjecture. Nevertheless, by publishing those allegations on her website the Defendant, as she must have expected, prompted further offensive comments from her supporters in a similar vein to those which she was already publishing (as well as a more general media furore). The Claimant will rely on the following examples of comments published on Sarawak Report:Fake religious man, good for nothing moron, and he’s dreaming of running the country into the deep Najis hole and… to hell!He cannot even lead PAS and let alone Kelantan.Too lazy to work but wants money,therefore sells his soul. Another corrupted Party is teaming up with the established corrupted ones.
- That’s it, SRB, sue that hypocrite TILL KINGDOM CIME. Make those barstards eat their own lies with mud stick onto them till they meed the Creator..
- No mercy on people like them.
- Ms.Brown, you have got the guts, will and determination..move on and nail him by the bollocks. Without corrupted money,how will they got luxury cars and trophy wives??
- 42.Paragraph 34 is denied. As stated above, the Claimant bears no responsibility, in fact or in law, for the attacks on the Defendant published by RPK, Malaysia Today or the Third Force
- 43.Paragraph 35 is denied. In circumstances in which the Defendant publishes attacks on the Claimant and on RPK which are of a far more serious nature than the attacks on her which are complained of in this Counterclaim, and in which she publicly responds to the attacks on her by RPK and the Third Force in similar terms, her claim to have suffered severe anxiety and distress as a result of the publication of the seven articles complained of is not credible.
- 44. Paragraph 36 is denied.
- 45. It is denied that the Defendant is entitled to damages for harassment or an injunction, as pleaded in the prayer to the Counterclaim, or at all.
STATEMENT OF TRUTH
The Claiman believes that the facts stated in this Defence to the Counterclaim are true.