Perak deputy speaker Hee Yit Foong today lost her appeal to set aside a decision in the suit over a pepper spray canister incident at the Perak state legislative assembly, on May 7, 2009.
Court of Appeal judges led by Sulong Matjeraie dismissed Hee’s appeal against the High Court’s decision to allow Aulong assemblyperson Yew Tian Hoe’s suit against Hee.
In an unanimous decision, Justice Sulong said there was no reason for the court to reverse the High Court findings, noting that the judicial commissioner had made the ruling based on evidence produced before him.
The court also upheld the ruling made by Judicial Commissioner Tarmizi Abd Rahman on June 14, this year, in allowing Yew an injunction to restrain Hee from abusing him or battering him in future.
Justice Sulong, who presided over the appeal with Justices Jeffrey Tan Kok Wha and Clement Allan Skinner, however, allowed Yew’s cross-appeal against the High Court’s ruling which had not made any decision on damages sought by him in the suit.
The Court of Appeal awarded RM100 as nominal damages to Yew. The court also ordered Hee to pay RM20,000 as costs to Yew.
On June 26, 2009, Yew filed the suit against Hee claiming that the latter had threatened and attacked him with a pepper spray canister on the face especially his left eye when they were at the state legislative assembly in the Perak State Secretary Building, Jalan Panglima Bukit Gantang Wahab, Ipoh, on May 7, 2009.
He said the incident happened in front of other assemblypersons and as a result, he suffered pain and injury to his left eye as well as mental shock and trauma, loss of dignity, humiliation, public shame and mental distress.
In his statement of claim, Yew also alleged that Hew was not remorseful and had lied to the mass media by saying that the pepper spray canister was a hotel key chain or a pen drive before admitting that the device was actually a pepper spray canister.
He said Hew had refused and failed to apologise despite being given the opportunity and he alleged that her conduct was with malicious intent and cruel.
He had lodged a report over the incident at the Taiping police station.
He is seeking, among others, aggravated and exemplary damages as well as costs, interest and other relief deemed fit by the court, and an injunction to restrain Hee or her worker or agent from abusing, threatening or assaulting him in whatever way.