Together with my lawyer, we've decided to withdraw the bid to strike out Syabas defamation suit against me, to give the earliest possible opportunity for the full trial to be carried out and witnesses summoned for testimony. We are looking forward to putting Syabas CEO, Tan Sri Rozali Ismail on the witness stand to answer various allegations of misappropriation and mismanagement in the Selangor water concessionaire.
I see no element of defamation in the alleged "defamatory words" published in Nanyang Siangpau, and I look forward to defending them during the trial. We are also expecting to bring in experts from the industry as witnesses to provide evidence in support of our case.
The judge has set June 20 for case management, and expects the trial to be carried out in July/August.
Full hearing for Syabas suit
KUALA LUMPUR: Petaling Jaya Utara member of parliament Tony Pua has withdrawn his application to strike out the defamation suit against him by Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas).
This is because both parties have agreed for all issues to be heard at trial, Pua's lawyer Ang Hean Leng said yesterday.
Ang said the court had set June 20 for the next case management.
The water company claimed that Pua had caused to be published an article entitled "Tony Pua: Selangor Government must have water rights to prevent rate hike" in a Chinese daily last November. It stated that the words were understood to mean that Syabas was incompetent in managing water supply rights and that the defamatory words had affected its business.
In his statement of defence, Pua claimed he was appointed as the spokesperson for "Return Water Rights to the People" campaign, launched by the Selangor state government and had offered his views when asked during a forum.
He also disputed the translation of the title of the article as stated in the statement of claim. He added that it should have been translated to read as, "Tony Pua: To ensure no hike in water tariff, Selangor state government wants management rights of water supply".