Kong denies any willful delay in filing documents in Dr Sim vs Chong case

KUCHING, Feb 1: Michael Kong who is the legal counsel to Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chief Chong Chieng Jen denies there was any willful delay on Chong’s part in filing documents for the defamation case pertaining to Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian vs Chong.

Kong in a statement today said it was incorrect for Shankar Ram’s lawyer Wong King Wei to allege that Chong had also delayed in complying with the court’s directions to file documents in the said defamation case.

“The statements issued by Shankar Ram’s lawyer and (sic) Wong King Wei give the public an impression that there is bias in the court’s treatment in the case. But in actual fact, there was no willful delay on the part of the defendant in filing the document.

“As the lawyer handling the case on behalf of Chong Chieng Jen, I can safely say that we have complied with the directions in filing the relevant documents as meted by the court,” Kong asserted.

Kong held that the decision of the Judicial Commissioner to cite Shankar for contempt of court was not solely on the ground that he had delayed in filing the plaintiff (Dr Sim)’s documents.

“There is more to that as ruled by the Judicial Commissioner and this is recorded in the Notes of Proceedings of the day in question,” said Kong.

As the case is up for further mention on Feb 3, 2021, Kong said he will leave the details for submission in court.

“Meanwhile, to answer to the allegation made by Wong King Wei, it suffices for me at this juncture to say that there was no willful delay on the part of Chong Chieng Jen in filing documents for the case and I call upon Wong King Wei not to make further half-truth statements against Chong Chieng Jen, myself as well as the court,” said Kong.

Kong was referring to senior counsel Shankar Ram Asnani being held in contempt of court on Jan 12, 2021. Shankar was serving as Dr Sim’s legal counsel in the defamation legal action against Chong. The High Court dismissed Dr Sim’s case with RM30,000 costs and found Shankar to be in contempt due to being one month late in filing documents.

Yesterday, Wong issued a statement refuting certain allegations about himself which Chong had made on Facebook live.

Earlier, Wong had described the contempt of court order on Shankar as “unprecedented” in nature as such an order is never meted out for delay in filing documents.

Wong pointed out contempt proceedings are only used when there are serious offences such as wrongful behaviour during court proceedings, which did not occur in the said case. — DayakDaily