While Anwar Ibrahim is suing Utusan Malaysia for RM50 million, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil has filed a RM100 million suit for defamation against Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) strategy director Mohd Rafizi Ramli.
Her lawyer Datuk Seri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah filed the suit at the High Court Registry on Jalan Duta yesterday.
The Wanita Umno chief said in her statement of claim that the Agriculture Ministry had in 2006, invited tenders from various companies to act as developer and integrator of a feedlot project (National Feedlot Project).
The ministry and an appointed selection committee for high impact projects had after evaluating the proposals, awarded the tender to Agro Science Industry Sdn Bhd and another company.
She said the committee had been specifically established by the government to assess high impact projects.
Shahrizat, who has taken a three weeks leave from her official duty as a minister, appeared confident in her 'war'.
A few days ago, the appellate court in Putrajaya affirmed a ruling, ordering a blogger to pay RM300,000 in damages to Information Communication and Culture Minister Dr Rais Yatim for defaming the minister in a blog article.
Justice Datuk Jefrey Tan Kok Wha, heading a three-member panel in the Court of Appeal, unanimously dismissed blogger Amizudin Ahmat's appeal over the High Court's ruling.
Tan, who heard the appeal with justices Datuk Seri Mohamed Apandi Ali and Datuk Alizatul Khair Osman Khairuddin, also upheld the High Court ruling that the blogger was liable for defamation over the article against Rais.
Reading the broad reasons, Tan said the court was in total agreement with the High Court ruling on the amount of damages amounting to RM300,000, awarded to the minister.
He said it might appear that the amount was high and that was the court's first impression.
In January last year, Rais, 69, sued Amizudin, 42, who is also Parti Keadilan Rakyat Youth committee member, for defamation over an article posted in the latter's blog, sharpshooterblogger.blogspot.com, on or about Dec 28, 2010.
In his suit, the minister said the entire words in the Malay language article were malicious and defamatory of him, and the words in the article meant and/or were understood to mean that he was guilty of a serious offence of having raped and capable of murdering his Indonesian maid.
A woman who worked as a maid for him for eight years was later reported by an Indonesian news portal as denying that she had ever been mistreated or raped by her employer.
Interesting, isn't it? Our courts will from now on have to attend to more libel suits. While I am contemplating on similar action to be taken by the US Government against my posting on former envoy John Malott a last week, I also realise libel suit is becoming a hit nowadays...