Wee vs Kong: Pending rep testifies defendant did not check with her before publishing online post

Court - DayakDaily.com file pic. // Photo: Pixabay

By Dorcas Ting

KUCHING, Aug 24: In the defamation suit by Sarawak Federation of Chinese Associations president Dato Richard Wee over a Facebook post by Democratic Action Party’s (DAP) Michael Kong’s on July 21, 2020, witness for the defendant, Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong, confirmed that the defendant did not verify facts with her before he published the said Facebook post.

During cross-examination by counsel for the plaintiff, Shankar Ram Asnani, Yong also agreed that there is no documentary evidence that a Borneo Post online article on July 20, 2020 which reported comments by Wee is Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and Sarawak United Peoples’Party (SUPP) propaganda.

Earlier on, Shankar Ram questioned the witness where the word “propaganda” was used several times in her witness statement, and Shankar Ram further asked if it was because Yong is not happy with the plaintiff’s comment made in the Borneo Post online article, Yong replied that ‘propaganda’ was the right choice of word.

Shankar Ram asked if “propaganda” means bias or misleading information to promote a particular political point of view, Yong said to a certain extent, it is.

Both parties finished examining Yong today. The defendant subpoenaed the third witness, Sam Chua, a reporter from The Borneo Post.

Chua was subpoenaed to produce an article dated September 30, 2019 titled “Wong: GPS-led State government rejected PH’s coalition for granting of 20pct oil royalty”.

The defendant wanted to tender the said article but it was rejected by the plaintiff’s counsel.

Shankar Ram submitted that the defendant and his counsel never disclosed the name of this reporter as a witness or potential witness for the defendant at any time. He only learned about Chua being called as a defendant witness this afternoon.

He further submitted that the alleged article was never put to previous witness Wong King Wei while he was giving evidence at the Court and it would be extremely unjust and unfair to Wong and the plaintiff.

He said the newspaper article has not been put to the party.

However, Chong submitted that the piece of evidence adduced today is to prove that Wong was lying in Court and the evidence would have not been necessary had Wong been truthful and forthcoming with his evidence.

The Court then disallowed the evidence to be produced as parties cannot be caught by surprise of the new document.

Yong as third witness was then released. Trial of the case will continue tomorrow. — DayakDaily