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Adnan Yaakob

KUANTAN – Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob cycled home during the lunch break of the State Assembly sitting today on a new bicycle that was presented to him in conjunction with his 67th birthday, also today.

The Nordic Track bicycle worth RM1,600 was a gift from Yayasan Pahang and was handed over to him when the State Assembly which sits at Wisma Sri Pahang here stood down for the morning recess.

“He (Adnan) took it for a spin around Wisma Pahang before going back in for the sitting a much happier man.

“When the assembly stood down for lunch, he rode back to his home Kubang Buaya which is a 25-minute ride unknown to the other assemblyman,” a source told Bernama.

The source added that he was escorted along the six-km journey by two police outriders and an ambulance. – BERNAMA

PUTRAJAYA – Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob will have his day in court over a defamation lawsuit against Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd.

A five-man bench led by Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin reinstated the lawsuit and ordered the case to be sent back to the Kuala Lumpur High Court for trial.

The matter was struck out by the Court of Appeal on March 1, last year after it ruled that public officials could not sue media for defamation in their official capacity.

Zulkefli said evidence had yet to be established at the High Court on whether the lawsuit was brought by Adnan in his personal or official capacity.

“We want justice for both sides. You have your day in court,” he said.

Presiding with him were Federal Court judges Tan Sri Ahmad Maarop, Tan Sri Hasan Lah, Datuk Aziah Ali and Tan Sri Jeffrey Tan Kok Wha.

Zulkefli allowed Adnan’s appeal to reverse the decision of the appellate court on March 1 last year, in striking out his civil suit against the publisher of the Malay newspaper and set Feb 22 for case management at the High Court.

However, the court panel did not decide whether the English case law principle, Derbyshire County Council v The Times Newspapers Ltd & Others (1993), applied to this case.

The case law states that local authorities cannot institute libel action in their official capacity.

“We are not saying the Derbyshire County Council principle does not apply to this case,” he said, adding the issue would be decided in other cases, as well.

Adnan sued Utusan Melayu over the publication of an article in Mingguan Malaysia under the headline, ‘Hebat Sangatkah Adnan’ on Nov 9, 2014.

In the suit filed in 2014, Adnan said Utusan had tarnished his reputation as a national leader and politician through an article.

The appellate court had allowed Utusan Melayu’s appeal to overturn the High Court’s dismissal of the publisher’s application to strike out the lawsuit.

In the appeal proceeding today, Zulkefli pointed out whether it was proper at this stage for the court to decide on the matter since the case was struck out and evidence had yet to be established by the court.

Lawyer Datuk M. Reza Hassan, acting for Utusan Melayu submitted that Adnan did not have the legal standing to bring the suit against his client as, based on the Adnan’s pleadings, it was obvious he filed his action in his capacity as menteri besar.

Adnan’s lawyer, Americk Sidhu said it was premature to hear the appeal since no evidence had been established. – BERNAMA

KUANTAN – The Pahang government has given its assurance to ensure organisers of motoring and extreme sports enhance the safety aspect of their events to avoid any untoward incidents in future.

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob said organisers should also take into account the possibility of an untoward incident that might happen when organising and event.

Commenting on the accident which occurred during the Education Innovation Motorsports and Automotive Race (EIMARace) 2016 at Indera Mahkota here last Sunday, he said the state government had sought an explanation from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) as the organiser of the event.

Factory supervisor Izwan Isa, 39, and his five-year-old daughter, Nur Zulaikha, were killed, while his wife, Siti Suhaiza Seman, 38, and their eldest child, Muhammad Izz Daniel, seven, were injured, after a go-kart veered out of control and crashed into spectators during the event.

“I have been briefed by UTM and advised them to not point fingers at anyone at this stage. Don’t play the blame game. Let the police investigate. The Higher Education Ministry is also investigating.

“We are saddened by the incident. If it (racing event) is going to be held again, step up safety measures. Think about the worst case scenario,” he told reporters here last night.

He said the incident was discussed at the state executive meeting yesterday during which the state government would ensure the victims’ family would be given the necessary assistance, like compensation.

Adnan clarified that the state government did not sponsor EIMARace 2016, but only provided the necessary assistance for UTM to organise the event.

In a related development, Adnan said the state government had identified a site to build a permanent race track in Gambang to enhance safety in motoring sports.

“We have identified the area to build the circuit, but has yet to get the fund for the purpose,” he added. – BERNAMA

KOTA BHARU – Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob has hinted that he may not contest in the upcoming 14th General Election.

He said that although the decision was not final, it was only logical as had been involved in politics a very long time.

“I am just voicing my opinion as I have been involved in politics for a long time (30 years) and if I want to retire, it would be just about appropriate.

“In politics, if you want to retire, there need not necessarily be a successor…the successor will come when the time is right. What more in Pahang, you must get the consent of the Sultan as well as the support of the Prime
Minister,” he told reporters after officiating Ketereh UMNO division’s Delegates Conference here today.

Also present was Ketereh UMNO head Tan Sri Annuar Musa, who is also UMNO Information Chief.

However, Adnan said his decision was not final and that there was no pressure on him to retire from politics.

“In politics, we ourselves must make our own assessments when to go and not because of pressure. Actually, in politics, even 50 years is really a short time,” he said. – BERNAMA

PUTRAJAYA: Politicians cannot sue the media for defamation in their capacity as public figures, the Court of Appeal here ruled today.

A three-man bench chaired by Datuk Rohana Yusuf made the decision when allowing Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd’s appeal to strike out a defamation lawsuit brought against it by Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob.

In her brief decision, she said it was the court’s view that the article, in its context and as a whole, had referred Adnan in his capacity as menteri besar and not as an individual private person.

She said Adnan’s defamation suit against the Malay newspaper should be struck out following an English case law principle, Derbyshire County Council vs Times Newspapers Ltd and others which stated that local authorities could not institute libel action.

The panel, which also included Court of Appeal judge Tan Sri Idrus Harun and High Court judge Datuk Mary Lim ordered Adnan to pay RM3,000 legal costs to Utusan Melayu. Adnan sued Utusan Melayu over publication of an article in Mingguan Malaysia under the headline, ‘Hebat Sangatkah Adnan’ on Nov 9, last year.

He was seeking general, aggravated and exemplary damages, an apology and an undertaking not to repeat publication of such defamatory material against him.

Utusan Melayu lost its bid to get the civil suit struck out at the High Court on July 23, last year and it appealed that decision to the Court of Appeal.

In today’s proceedings, Utusan Melayu’s counsel, Datuk M. Reza Hassan submitted the article had criticised Adnan as menteri besar and his administration.

He said the Derbyshire County Council vs Times Newspapers Ltd principle applied in the case and the court should allow Utusan Melayu’s appeal to strike out the lawsuit.

Adnan’s counsel, Americk Sidhu argued that his client was not suing the newspaper in his capacity as public official but his personal capacity.

Reza told reporters the court’s decision could have a landmark implication as it meant public figures could only sue for defamation if the attack was personal in nature.

Americk said he would seek instructions from Adnan on whether to bring the matter up to the Federal Court.

Also representing Utusan Melayu was lawyer Azhar Arman Ali.

— BERNAMA

 

KUANTAN – The Pahang state government will build a new route from the Kuantan-Bypass road to the Pahang Skills Development Centre (Pahang Skills) in Semambu estimated to cost RM2.6 million.

Pahang Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob said the new route was necessary to facilitate travelling to the training centre since the main road used to reach to the centre was in an industrial area.

“We will hold a meeting next week with the state’s Works Department on the plans for the new route,” he told reporters after launching the Pahang Skills’ new logo and its new bus, here, today.

Also present were Pahang Skills chairman Datuk Lahuree Sudiran, its executive director Khairul Rizal Ramli and the state’s Health, Human Resource and Special Functions Committee chairman Datuk Norol Azali Sulaiman.

Adnan said another RM2 million allocation will be provided to Pahang Skills to get new robotics equipment as the existing equipment has been used for the past 12 years.

“Pahang Skills needs continuous assistance from the state government and it needs to be more proactive in observing changes in the industry that can be customized with the courses offered,” he said.

Adnan said he was pleased with the Pahang Skills’ achievement in producing high-income skilled workers, exceeding the goal of its establishment in 1996, which was to meet the demand of the domestic industry.

“I was informed that 85 percent of unemployed university graduates who come for training here (Pahang Skills) will get a job within six months,” he said.

Meanwhile, Adnan said the state government will be giving an ‘ang pau’ during the Chinese New Year celebration to the Chinese community, who are aged 70 and above, as in previous years.

The new evolutionary Pahang Skills’ logo uses a light blue colour in the word ‘Skills’, representing the ability of the training center in applying the Blue Ocean Strategy, by offering the latest and high-impact courses. – BERNAMA