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Company loses suit against NSTP

KUALA LUMPUR: A direct-selling company lost its defamation suit against the New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd, former deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk M. Kayveas and two others over three articles published in 2005.

The High Court yesterday dismissed the suit brought by Melilea (M) Sdn Bhd against NSTP, its former group editor-in-chief Datuk Seri Kalimullah Masheerul Hassan, writer of the articles Jad Mahidin and Kayveas with costs.

Melilea, a company selling health and beauty products, had filed the suit in 2007. It also named three product distributors -- Chong Kok Leong, 41, Yoon Peik Chin, 41, and Ong Kean Swan, 30, as defendants.

It claimed that the three articles were published in the Sunday Mail and Malay Mail on March 20 and March 21, 2005 respectively.

It alleged that the articles implied that, among others, the company had cheated its distributors of their legitimate bonuses and commissions and had acted unreasonably and terminated their membership without just cause.

Melilea contended that the distributors had violated various terms in their agreements with the company and had voluntarily resigned.

Senior federal counsel Mohammad Al-Saifi Hashim who appeared for Kayveas told reporters that Judicial Commissioner Rosilah Yop agreed with his defence of qualified privilege.

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