PETALING JAYA: The former editor-in-chief (EIC) of The Edge Communications Sdn Bhd has been charged at the Magistrate’s Courts here with criminal defamation over two special reports published in 2020 and 2021 during his tenure.
Ahmad Azam Mohd Aris, 61, was accused of defaming Datuk Kua Khai Shyuan and DGB Asia Bhd by publishing an article in The Edge Malaysia weekly business newspaper dated between Sept 21 and Sept 27, 2020.
Kua is an executive director of the company.
Ahmad Azam allegedly committed the offence at The Edge Communications, Jalan PJU7/6, Mutiara Damansara, here on Sept 21, 2020.
He was charged under Section 500 of the Penal Code and faces imprisonment of up to two years or a fine or both, if convicted.
Ahmad Azam pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Siti Maryam Jamilah Md Kamal proposed bail at RM8,000.
His lawyer Rajsurian Pillai said Ahmad Azam was only informed at 6.30pm on Monday that he would be charged yesterday.
“This is a non-arrestable offence. He came here on his own at 8am to face the charge,” the lawyer said.
Rajsurian added that Ahmad Azam had retired but was now working at The Edge as a part-time editor.
He said his client had high blood pressure and diabetes which required medication.
“I suggest bail between RM500 and RM1,000,” he added.
Magistrate Zhafran Rahim Hamzah set bail at RM2,500 in one surety.
The court also fixed Nov 22 for mention.
At a separate Magistrate’s Court here, Ahmad Azam also claimed trial to a similar charge with another editor, Shanmugam Murugasu, under the same section over a second article involving Kua, DGB Asia and three other companies – Trive Property Group Bhd, Metronic Global Bhd and MNC Wireless Bhd.
The article was published on the same platform between April 12 and April 18, 2021.
Ahmad Azam allegedly committed the offence at the same place on April 12, 2021.
Rajsurian informed the court that Shanmugam was currently abroad and unable to attend court.
This prompted Magistrate Nurshahira Abdul Salim to grant him a discharge not amounting to an acquittal pending charging later.
Nurshahira also fixed bail at RM500 and set the case mention on Nov 22.
Ahmad Azam posted bail set by the two courts.
DPP Farhanah Fuad Mohamad Faiz prosecuted.
Rajsurian told reporters that Shanmugam would return next week to face the charge.