PCP CONSTRUCTION SDN BHD v. LEAP MODULATION SDN BHD; ASIAN INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION CENTRE (INTERVENER)

[2019] 3 MLRA 429

PCP CONSTRUCTION SDN BHD v. LEAP MODULATION SDN BHD; ASIAN INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION CENTRE (INTERVENER)
Federal Court, Putrajaya
Ramly Ali, Azahar Mohamed, Rohana Yusuf, Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, Nallini Pathmanathan FCJJ
[Civil Application No: 08(i)-394-07-2018(W)]
23 April 2019

JUDGMENT

Ramly Ali, Azahar Mohamed, Rohana Yusuf, Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, Nallini Pathmanathan FCJJ:

Introduction

[1] This is our judgment in respect of the Honourable Attorney-General's application dated 28 February 2019, seeking an order of committal against Arunachalam Kasi ('Arun Kasi') for contempt of court, more particularly, scandalising contempt.

[2] The grounds upon which this application was made was that Arun Kasi had scandalised the Federal Court of Malaysia by making various allegations regarding judicial conduct in the hearing, disposal and adjudication of a civil application before the Federal Court on 7 November 2018 in two articles published online by a news portal known as Aliran.

[3] The thrust of the Attorney-General's originating summons is that Arun Kasi's statements in these two articles insinuate that the Federal Court Judges who heard and allowed the application to expunge portions of the dissenting judgment were guilty of misconduct, involved in corrupt activity and had compromised their integrity, to the extent that an investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission ('MACC') was warranted. The MACC is a statutory body established to investigate into offences of corruption. These insinuations were made in both the articles published by Aliran.

[4] As a consequence of these allegations the Attorney-General, as the guardian of the rule of law, brought this application, not to protect the dignity of the individual judges concerned, but to protect public confidence in the administration of justice in Malaysia. Put another way, the publications comprising substantively, if not wholly of Arun Kasi's allegations, were calculated to impair the confidence of the people in the court's judgments and thereby the administration of justice as a whole.

Salient Background Facts

[5] It is undisputed that Arun Kasi sent a press release to an online news portal known as Aliran. As a consequence of his sending this press release, two articles were published online on Aliran's website on 16 February 2019 and 22 February 2019 respectively. The two articles are entitled:

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