Kong shows court data insights of his Facebook post in defamation suit with Richard Wee

Kong (second left) with his legal team, from left Sim Kiat Leng and Chong.

By Dorcas Ting

KUCHING, Aug 25: Michael Kong himself has been called as the witness in the ongoing defamation suit by Sarawak Federation of Chinese Associations president Dato Richard Wee over Kong’s Facebook post on July 21, 2020.

During the examination-in-chief conducted by his counsel Chong Chieng Jen, Kong tendered the print out of the screenshot of his Facebook post dated July 21, 2022 with the data insights as at April 20, 2022 and the actual printout of the said Facebook post and also documents that contained the amount of reach, impressions and engagement of the said post.

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However, the counsel for the plaintiff, Shankar Ram said the purported Facebook post was shown to the Court for the first time and was never exhibited to the revised witness statement and that they were “caught by surprise”.

He further added that the purported Facebook post by the defendant was never referred to the plaintiff in cross examination and was never referred to the plaintiff’s eighth witness Ahmad Bakhtiar during his cross examination nor during the cross examination of the plaintiff’s 11th witness, Rodney Scoot.

Chong then replied and said that this matter was raised during the cross-examination of Ahmad Bakhtiar.

He said the document that he sought to adduce today, in particular those containing the number of post impressions, reach and engagement can only be viewed by the defendant himself, who is the registered owner of the Facebook page and this document is to rebut the claim by Ahmad Bakhtiar that the defendant’s Facebook post will have the same reach of other national-level politicians.

High Court Judge Haji Alwi Abdul Wahab then asked Kong to show the court as to the accuracy of his evidence supported by the Facebook account.

He then logged into his personal Facebook account using the Court’s computer to show the statistics and data insights.

The number of shares as at April 20, 2022 as exhibited was 35 shares but it was reduced to 34 shares during this morning’s demonstration.

Kong also explained to the Court that the number of followers as at April 20, 2022 was approximately 4,000 followers.

The Court then accepted the explanation and accepted this document to be admitted as an exhibit and subject to cross examination.

Ahmad Bakhtiar Hamdan is the former deputy director at the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission(MCMC) and also the former head of MCMC compliance unit whereas Rodney Scott Dreman Stephen is the deputy director of the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission Sarawak (MCMC).

Wee was represented by Counsels Shakar Ram, Yu Ying Ying and Russel Lim whereas Kong was represented by Counsels Chong Siew Chiang, Chong Chieng Jen, Sim Kiat Leng and Brenda Chong. — DayakDaily

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