By Dorcas Ting
KUCHING, April 21: The defendant in the defamation suit filed by Sarawak Federation of Chinese Associations president Dato Richard Wee over Democratic Action Party’s (DAP) Michael Kong’s Facebook post dated July 21, 2020, has applied to expunge substantial parts of the evidence of given by Wong King Wei during cross-examination.
The defendant, Kong, through his counsel Chong Chieng Jen applied to High Court Judge Alwi Abdul Wahab to expunge substantial parts of the evidence given by Wong, who was the seventh prosecution witness as well as a former Padungan representative, during the cross-examination by Chong.
However, Wee’s counsel Shankar Ram Asnani filed an affidavit in opposition.
Shankar Ram during his submission told the court that many of the questions involved are questions posed by Chong during Wong’s cross-examination on pleaded issues that are related to a Borneo Post online article on July 20, 2020 and the defendant’s Facebook post on July 21, 2020.
He said the questions by Chong put to Wong related directly to the press statement issued by Wong on July 26, 2020 when Wong responded to an attack by the defendant on the plaintiff and which was also the primary reason for Wong’s resignation as the vice-chairman of Sarawak DAP.
He added, when Wong had given his answers during the cross-examination, Chong did not raise an objection but had later filed an application to expunge substantial parts of the evidence.
Chong later told the reporters that the defendant applied to expunge those parts of Wong’s evidence on three grounds, which are:
1) Wong’s evidence is irrelevant to the case;
2) Wong’s evidence is more a personal attack on Chong who is the counsel for the defendant and not a party to the legal action;
3) To save the court’s time.
Chong explained, that if Wong’s evidence is not expunged by the court, then the defendant will have no choice but to call more witnesses to rebut his evidence, otherwise it would be taken and the defendant would be perceived as agreeing to what he had said. He argued that would unnecessarily prolong the trial and waste the court’s time.
Judge Alwi then fixed April 26 for Chong to file an affidavit in reply and for the plaintiff’s counsel to file an affidavit in reply by April 27 and both parties to file in submissions on May 4, 2022, with reply to the main submission to be exchanged by May 7, 2022.
Hearing of the application to expunge was fixed for May 20, 2022. — DayakDaily