MALAYSIAN ACTORS IN COURT OVER WHATSAPP GROUP CHAT MESSAGE
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA :
A dispute between actors Datuk Seri Eizlan Yusof and Datuk Hans Isaac over a WhatsApp message involving Eizlan's link to a production company and a government grant has now landed in court.
Eizlan or his real name Idris Md Yusof has sued the former National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS) chairman for alleged defamation.
The suit is in regards to accusations of abuse of power to obtain funds for production company Excellent Pictures Sdn Bhd (EPSB).
The matter came up for case management today before judge Datuk Azimah Omar via e-Review.
When contacted, Eizlan's lawyer Datuk Shaharudin Ali said the court had suggested for the suit to be resolved via mediation or by any other way of settlement.
" During today's proceeding, the court set August 12, 2021 for further case management for both parties to update on the development of the matter (settlement)," he said.
However, Shahrudin said his client has indicated that he was ready to proceed with trial.
Hans was represented by lawyer Isa Aziz.
According to the statement of claim filed on February 08, 2021, Eizlan claimed that the defendant (Hans) had purportedly written and sent a defamatory statement in the Malaysian Film Producers Association (PFM).
WhatsApp group chat which comprised over 200 local film and drama producers as well as artists.
Eizlan claimed that Hans had on November 16, 2020, at about 9.13 pm, spread the lies in the group chat which later circulated outside of the WhatsApp group.
The message, the plaintiff (Eizlan) claimed had linked him to EPSB which was said to have received a financial grant from FINAS.
He claimed that the message had among others created the impression that he had acted in conflict of interest while he was a FINAS board member by using illegal ways to obtain the financial grant for EPSB when he actually had nothing to do with the production company or hold any position in it.
This, he said, had tarnished his professional image and caused him to suffer losses.
The plaintiff is seeking RM 2 million in general damages as well as aggravated and exemplary damages, interests and costs.
He is also seeking an apology under his proposed terms and conditions and approved by the court as well as an injunction order to refrain the defendant or any of his agents to repeat the statement or issue any statement that are defamatory.
Meanwhile, Hans in his statement of defence filed on March 17, 2021, denied ever raising the issue of conflict of interest and contended that the plaintiff's claims that he had nothing to do with Excellent Pictures was untrue.
He said that although the plaintiff held on position in the company, the latter had starred in films and drama series produced by EPSB between all 2004 and 2017.
Therefore, he said, the plaintiff as a FINAS board member should know his responsibilities to not get involved in any matter related to the company to avoid the issue of conflict of interest from being brought up.
He said the WhatsApp group was a closed group with 254 and any information that was spread outside of the group is the responsibility of the group admins as they had created that group.
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@ Jackie San