• Publication of a statement that lowers the reputation of another person.

Types of Defamation

  • Libel – Defamatory statement in a permanent form (e.g. articles, Facebook posts, WhatsApp messages).
  • Slander – Defamatory statement in a temporary form (e.g. spoken words).

 Can a politician be sued for defamation in the Parliament?

  • A defamation suit is not possible against a politician for words spoken in the House of Parliament.

Why can’t a politician be sued?

  • To enable Parliament to perform their functions effectively and without interference from anyone outside of Parliament, the Constitution confers certain rights and legal immunities under “Parliamentary Privileges” Members of Parliament (“MP”).
  • In other words, it is to safeguard the freedom, the authority and the dignity of Parliament.

Is this governed by any Malaysia law?

  • Article 63(2) and 63(3) of the Federal Constitution – No person shall be liable to any proceedings in court for anything said or published by them in either Houses of Parliament.
  • Section 7 of the Houses of Parliament (Privileges and Powers) Act 1952 – Immunity of members from civil or criminal proceedings.
  • Generally speaking, MP enjoys complete freedom of expression in the House and in the committees of the House.

 What are the actions that can actually be taken against the politician?

  • Each House has power to discipline its own members.
  • Each House can penalize its members for breaches of the privileges or contempt of that House.
  • If a politician is accused of abusing his freedom of speech or of committing contempt of the House, he may be investigated, tried and either convicted or acquitted by the House itself.

Recent Post

× How can I help you?