UGGAH VS VERNON SUIT

KUCHING: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas’ defamation suit against former Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak publicity chief Vernon Kedit will be decided today at the local High Court.

High Court judge Ravinthran N Paramaguru, is scheduled to deliver his decision today at 11.30am.

Yesterday a decision could not be made because the parties involved could not come to an agreement on damages and legal costs.

When asked what had been decided, the lawyers did not want to say much.

“That is up to the court to decide,” lawyer Sim Hui Chuang said when asked by reporters how much cost his client wanted to claim.

Late last year, Uggah filed a defamation suit against Vernon for calling him a “liar” and a “traitor”, which he claimed were highly defamatory. The comments were published widely on ‘PKR Sarawak State Media’ Whatsapp group.

It was alleged that Vernon said the remarks when commenting on alleged imperfection of the amended Sarawak Land Code, particularly on the mechanism to convert native customary rights (NCR) land to Native Territorial Domain (NTD).

Vernon claimed that Uggah was lying when he interpreted that usufructuary right as a right that one can own and also use, which Uggah strongly denied.

It was reported that Vernon who is now PKR Sarawak secretary and special officer to federal Works Minister Baru Bian, was absent.

Former Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang accompanied Uggah yesterday during the proceedings.