See you in court’: Hall dares libel claimant in Dyson’s forced labour controversy https://focusmalaysia.my/see-you-in-court-hall-dares-libel-claimant-in-dysons-ata-forced-labour-controversy/
AGHAST with a demand for apology and a RM30 mil compensation for libel levelled against him, migrant worker rights specialist Andy Hall has welcomed the opportunity to defend his claim in court.
On Feb 15, the London-born labour activist living in Nepal confirmed he was e-mailed a notice of demand by recruitment firm Agensi Pekerjaan Embun Karisma Sdn Bhd director Datuk R. Muthusamy “for willfully” circulating false and misleading statements about the latter via e-mail to not less than 40 recipients.
Based on background checks by FocusM, Embun Karisma is a company supplying labour and dormitories to electronic manufacturing service (EMS) provider ATA IMS Bhd, which has been embroiled in forced labour allegations in recent times.
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.
“No doubt the claimant thought that they could use these proceedings to force me to be quiet,” Hall pointed out in a 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 practises is an abuse of the Malaysian legal system.” Among others, the demand notice also alleged Hall of claiming in his e-mail that Muthusamy had asked around on “How much it would cost to pay off or silence Andy Hall?”.
For starters, Hall told FocusM that lawyer Datuk Seri M. Ramachelvam of Rama-Rozi & Associates, who has agreed to represent him in his case, is in the midst of preparing a response to Muthusamy’s claims based on all the evidence and witness claims/statements currently available.
As Muthusamy’s recruitment practices have been the subject of multiple discussions he has had in the past with those working in the manpower and foreign worker field, Hall said he is currently reaching out to finalise more witnesses to support his defence, notably by interacting with important sources who are familiar with Muthusamy’s practices.
Aside from Ramachelvam, Hall said he 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,” noted Hall.
“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 17, 2022