KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 — Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali was sentenced to a day’s jail and fined RM20,000 today for contempt of court over an online article critical of a judge that was posted on the Malay rights group’s website.
The article in question, by Zainuddin Salleh — who was also found guilty of contempt today — was adjudged to have impugned High Court judge VT Singham.
The judge in question had presided over a defamation lawsuit brought by Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim against Umno-owned Utusan Melayu and Abdul Aziz Ishak, the editor-in-chief of Utusan Malaysia.
Anwar's counsel, R. Sivarasa, told The Malay Mail Online that Justice John Louis O’Hara agreed with his submission and found both men guilty.
“Zainuddin wrote a story that scandalised the court and the institution as a whole and VT Singham as a judge in particular; it was an attempt to put pressure on the court therefore he was sentenced to four weeks in jail.
“And Ibrahim Ali has allowed the article to remain on the web site, did not distance himself from the organisation and did nothing to remove the article,” Sivarasa said when contacted.
The Subang MP added that Ibrahim was sentenced to one day in jail and fined RM20,000.
Rajinder Singh represented Ibrahim while Hasni Yusof appeared for Zainuddin.
Representatives from the Bar Council and the Attorney-General's chambers were also present, Sivarasa added.
On January 7, Perkasa published an article penned by Zainuddin that questioned Singham’s impartiality and previous judgments, and contained allegations over his sexuality owing to him being unmarried.
He launched the attack against Singham as the latter was presiding in the RM50 million defamation suit filed by Anwar Ibrahim against Utusan Malaysia.
On January 17, Anwar filed the application to cite the duo for contempt, alleging that the article posted on the Perkasa's web site had tarnished the image of the High Court judge.
The defamation suit was related to articles published by the defendants on Anwar's interview by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).