Home Civil Society Voices 2017 Civil Society Voices Take grievances surrounding Hadi vs Rewcastle Brown suit to UK court, says...

Take grievances surrounding Hadi vs Rewcastle Brown suit to UK court, says Ambiga

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Ambiga Sreenevasan complains of targeted acts of intimidation and harassment against her following revelations in the UK suit.

The recently disclosed defence and counterclaim in the Abdul Hadi Awang P vs Clare Rewcastle Brown suit filed in the UK has in Malaysia been focused on two paragraphs in which I have been specifically named. I have refrained from comment for now, in view of the pending proceedings in the UK court.

The forum for the proceedings in the UK was chosen by the claimant, Hadi Awang, as he is perfectly entitled to do. It is therefore in the UK court that any requests (or demands) for documents or information must be made. It is there that the responses to the serious allegations contained in the defence and counterclaim must be submitted. It is there that the trial will be held. In the UK. Not in Malaysia.

It is therefore highly unusual and irregular that those in the claimant’s party and others who are aligned to him are seeking to conduct a mini trial (or persecution) in Malaysia on the two paragraphs of the defence that mention my name.

In the last few days, I have faced a barrage of attacks from ministers, party members and others aligned to the claimant. The government media gave me a three-page coverage yesterday (including the front page!) where demands for me to ”come clean” were made. I was even on TV3 news.

Bloggers identified with the ruling party have made sexist, racist and highly defamatory remarks about both Ms Rewcastle Brown and me. The social media has been used to attack my reputation and character.

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Yesterday, three men came to my house claiming they were pressmen and stood outside while filming my home. Reporters from Berita Harian and TV3 camped for nearly two hours outside my office.

Now, it appears that a police report has been lodged against me based on the defence and counterclaim filed by Ms Rewcastle Brown.

In my view, these are targeted acts of intimidation and harassment against me. They seriously undermine, and are disrespectful of the UK proceedings and may in my view amount to a contempt of the UK court. As these acts may in one way or another be seen to be connected to the claimant, I believe he could be answerable to the UK court for them.

Those who have been vociferous in condemning me and who are aggrieved in any way ought to take those grievances to the court in the UK. I believe they may even intervene in those proceedings and become parties if they feel strongly enough and have a case to put forward.

There are more than two paragraphs in the defence and counterclaim. There are in total 36. There are serious allegations contained in them. Perhaps that should be the focus.

Ambiga Sreenevasan is president of the Human Rights Society of Malaysia (Hakam).

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