Kong tells court he never alleged Wee was racist or extremist in Facebook post

File photo depicting the Kuching Court Complex.

By Dorcas Ting

KUCHING, Oct 13: In the defamation suit by Sarawak Federation of Chinese Associations president Dato Richard Wee over DAP’s Michael Kong’s Facebook post on July 21, 2020, Kong said that he had never alleged or asserted in his statement that the plaintiff is racist or an extremist.

Kong, who is the defendant in the case, was called as a witness during the cross-examination conducted by the plaintiff’s counsel, Shankar Ram.

Kong was asked about a paragraph in his alleged defamatory Facebook post, on whether or not he agreed that it bore the defamatory meaning that the plaintiff was racist and an extremist, in which he replied that the first sentence of the paragraph is a comment regarding the plaintiff.

He said, at the same time, in the said first sentence he had also put in a fact regarding the collaboration of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) together with PAS and UMNO to form the Federal government.

“Further down in the same paragraph, those are statements which were targeted at GPS and not the plaintiff. In the next sentence, it is also clear that it is targeted at GPS and not the plaintiff.

“As such, there was never any allegation or assertion that the plaintiff is a racist and extremist.”

When being asked if Kong agreed that he had no evidence to show that the plaintiff tolerates racism and extremism, he said he never alleged or asserted in his statement that the plaintiff is a racist or an extremist. The attribution of racism and extremism was towards PAS as a political party which Kong claimed GPS had decided to collaborate with.

The counsel also asked Kong if he agreed that he referred to abstract information from various documents, Kong said he agreed that he relied on information from various documents, annual reports, corporate information, yearly financial reports and news reports to state the facts which he published in the Facebook post.

When being asked if he agreed that his comments in various paragraphs in the alleged Facebook post are not comments, or not even fair comments but are his statements which are defamatory and which are malicious falsehood against the plaintiff, Kong disagreed.

Shankar further asked if Kong agreed that the Facebook post bears the meaning that the plaintiff is a closely aligned political crony of the ruling coalition of Sarawak GPS, Kong disagreed. He said he only pointed out that the plaintiff has business connections and never said that he was a crony. The word “crony” was never used. — DayakDaily