NGOs given right to appear and be heard when Lynas filed injunction

Save Malaysia, Stop Lynas! (SMSL) and Mtoday News Sdn Bhd have been given the right to appear and be heard during an injunction application by Lynas.

A High Court has allowed an application by SMSL to be heard in an injunction for a defamation suit filed by Lynas Corporation Ltd and Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd against it on an inter-parte (between two or more parties) basis.

High Court judge Justice John Louis O’Hara granted SMSL’s lead counsel Datuk Bastian Pius Vendargon’s application in chambers yesterday. Lynas was represented by lead counsel Rishwant Singh.

Speaking to reporters later, Bastian said that the judge has agreed for the injunction to be heard on an inter-parte basis.

“The judge has directed us to file an affidavit for the inter-parte injunction hearing to restrain the defendants from publishing any statement in opposition to Lynas,” he said.

Bastian said the plaintiffs had originally applied for an injunction on an ex-parte (one party) basis against the defendants.

“We asked to be heard. The Federal Constitution had guaranteed freedom of speech. It should not be ex-parte. We came to court today after we found out on our own that there is a suit filed against us. We have not been served with the court papers over this claim,” he said.

Besides that, he said, SMSL also obtained an order from the judge for Lynas to serve a copy of the claim to it.

The court has set May 9 for case management of this suit against SMSL.

According to sources, Justice O’Hara had also set for May 9 for case management on a defamation suit filed by Lynas against Mtoday News Sdn Bhd - which operates Free Malaysia Today (FMT) - at another High Court before Justice Dr Prasad Sandosham Abraham.

Counsel Hon Kai Ping, R. Sarengapani and Gene Anand Vendargon also appeared for SMSL yesterday.

In an endorsement of claim filed on April 19, Lynas has named SMSL and its two directors Tan Bun Teet and Lim Sow Teow as defendants.

Lynas Corporation has claimed that the defendants published defamatory statement against both plaintiffs through its article titled “Civil Society Organisations joint statement on Lynas issue: SMSL & NGOs statement against Lynas” dated March 22.

In the endorsement of claim filed on April 20, Lynas Corporation and Lynas Malaysia sued Mtoday News Sdn Bhd over a defamatory article entitled “Lynas Must Go” dated March 6.

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