Defamation lawsuits can only be initiated  when there is defamation. An accusation that  can be proven to be fake. There are two types  of defamation in law, which is libel and verbal  (slander).


Defamation in writing or ‘libel’.  Defamation like this usually happens when  there is a statement that is not true in writing,  print or in permanent form against a person  who is defamed and it is spread to third  parties / society. Defamatory statements in  writing are usually published on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram  or any other related social media. It can also  be spread in the form of email or pictures.

Defamation in verbal or ‘slander’. This  kind of defamation occurs when a conversation from someone has false  statements or accusations against the  defamed person and the conversation is expressed in front of other people such as  third parties/society.

QUESTION: How to determine the compensation  amount?

ANSWER: The court will look at the person’s position  and status in society to determine the amount  of compensation. The compensation received  for a defamation action to the politician or a  celebrity or a famous businessman is higher  when compared to the public.

QUESTION: If the defendant fails to pay the defamation  suit damages decided by the Court, what  actions can be imposed on the defendant?

ANSWER: If the defendant fails to pay the claim in Court  after obtaining an order, there are several  steps that can be taken which are: 

1. Bankruptcy proceedings if the value  obtained exceeds RM100,000 


2. Seizure and auction of goods belonging to  the defendant 


3. Garnishing Proceeding which is the freezing  of the defendant’s savings in the bank  account and transferred to the plaintiff Or 

4. Judgment Creditor’s Summons (i.e. the  court’s order to the defendant to pay in  installments according to monthly ability) Or, 5. Prohibitory Order, seizure and auction of  the defendant’s property.

How and what you need to prepare for a defamation suit.

If you want to file a defamation suit claim,  you need to get an advice from a lawyer for  more explanation of the defamation suit  before starting any further action. 

 You need to make sure that all documents  related to the defamation are printed, saved  and keep together for a lawyers to review and  evaluate your case. 

 If defamatory statements are written and  spread on social media, WhatsApp or  telegram, you need to screenshot of the  statement and details about the identity of  the person who spread the defamatory  statement.  If the slanderous statement is in the form  of a conversation, you need to make sure that  you have a witness who can testify on your  behalf.

Dato’ Safee bin Daud v Raj A/L Gopal [2012]  10 MLJ 203, Kuala Lumpur High Court.

The plaintiff (Dato’ Safee) is a famous  Malaysian businessman and the defendant (Raj) is a journalist. The  defendant has made two defamatory  statements on his Twitter account regarding  the Plaintiff at different times. The Plaintiff  states that the Defendant’s defamatory  statements can be read by anyone because  it’s public and can be access by anyone and he  has thousands of followers, including well known corporate figures, politicians and  media personalities.

Court decision: The court found that the statement made by  the Defendant met the criteria of defamation  against the Plaintiff. The court ordered  general damages of RM300,000.00, excessive  damages of RM200,000.00 and an injunction  to prevent the Defendant, his assistants and  agents from further defaming the Plaintiff.

Furthermore, the Court agrees that the  Plaintiff is a well-known person in society and  business, locally, regionally and abroad;  someone who is held in high esteem and  whose reputation would be seriously affected  by the defamatory statements made by the  Defendant.

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