Court postpone submission on Uggah’s defamation suit against Vernon

The court complex in Kuching.

By Dorcas Ting

KUCHING, Aug 13: The Kuching High Court has deferred the case involving Sarawak deputy chief minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah and state PKR secretary Vernon Kedit to a date to be fixed.

High Court Judge Ravinthran N Paramaguru had earlier fixed today for submission but the date has been vacated and postponed to another date.

Vernon is sued for allegedly questioning Uggah’s interpretation of “usufructuary right” over the native customary rights (NCR) land issue and calling the deputy chief minister a “traitor” or “liar” in a WhatsApp group chat.

Vernon received a Letter of Demand by Uggah’s lawyer on July 30, 2018, to retract the alleged libellous statement, as well as to offer a written apology to be published in newspapers in Sarawak.

The letter also demanded Vernon to promise not to make such statements against Uggah in the future, to pay all legal costs incurred and to pay a sum of not less than RM1 million in damages, as compensation for allegedly defaming Uggah in the WhatsApp group chat.

The said allegation refers to the controversial Sarawak Land Code (Amendment) Bill, 2018, that was passed in the State Legislative Assembly in 2018.

Vernon opined that the amendment would gravely affect full ownership of ancestral native customary lands and native customary rights.

Uggah is being represented by Sim Hui Chuang and Alex Lim Lip Sze, while Vernon Kerdit is being represented by Simon Siah, Desmond Kho, See Chee How. — DayakDaily