Andy Hall takes bull by the horns in Dyson’s manpower supplier’s RM30m legal demand https://focusmalaysia.my/andy-hall-takes-bull-by-the-horns-in-dysons-manpower-suppliers-rm30m-legal-demand/
MIGRANT worker rights specialist Andy Hall does not mince his words when he said that he welcomed the opportunity to defend his claim in court after being served with a demand notice seeking apology and RM30 mil compensation for libel by recruitment firm Agensi Pekerjaan Embun Karisma Sdn Bhd director Datuk R. Muthusamy.
Now he seems to be on the right track to turn the table on the owner of Embun Karisma, a company supplying labour and dormitories to electronic manufacturing service (EMS) provider ATA IMS Bhd, which has been embroiled with forced labour allegations in recent times.
Yesterday (Feb 18), Hall’s counsel Datuk Seri M. Ramachelvam of Rama-Rozi & Associates not only rebutted Muthusamy’s claim but stated that Hall’s opinion of Muthusamy was “made in good faith and cannot be considered to be defamatory”.
As such, Hall would rely on a “defence of fair comment, justification and qualified privilege” if the suit comes to court, according to a reply by Ramachelvam to the legal firm representing Muthusamy, G.K. Sritharan & Co.
For the record, ATA IMS is the largest component supplier to UK-based household appliance manufacturer Dyson which is recently facing legal action by more than a dozen former employees of ATA IMS for perpetuating forced labour and other dangerous working conditions at ATA IMS factories.
On Feb 15, the London-born activist who is currently residing in Nepal received a demand notice via e-mail from Muthusamy through lawyer G.K. Sritharan “for willfully” circulating false and misleading statements about the latter (Muthusamy) via e-mail to not less than 40 recipients.
Among others, Hall was alleged to have made defamatory statements, which include how Muthusamy had offered Hall a consultancy service to ATA IMS at whatever cost Hall deemed fit.
In his e-mail, Hall also claimed that Muthusamy had asked around on “How much it would cost to pay off or silence Andy Hall?”.
“No doubt the claimant thought that they could use these proceedings to force me to be quiet,” Hall pointed out in an earlier statement. “In fact, they have given me a platform to be even louder. The use of libel proceedings to stop drawing attention to their despicable practices is an abuse of the Malaysian legal system.”
Aside from Ramachelvam, Hall is also currently consulting with the UK High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, the British Government in London and human rights lawyers’ network in Malaysia to strengthen his defence team as he has intended “to bare all the wrongdoings of those involved in this case, including Muthusamy, ATA IMS and Dyson”.
“I have reasons to believe, also from several sources, that few police reports and other court cases have been lodged/filed against me for what some companies and individuals deemed as painting a wrong picture of them,” Hall had told FocusM.
“I am seeking clarity through my legal team on how many cases have really been filed against me in Malaysia, where and when, so any information is welcome. I wish to once and for all set the record straight while clearing my name.” – Feb 19, 2022