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4 Oct 2021

Malaysia: Timber company Samling files defamation suit against Indigenous civil society group, rights organisations claim it's a SLAPP; co. responds

On 21 June 2021, the logging company Samling Plywood filed a defamation lawsuit against SAVE Rivers and its directors for publishing alleged defamatory statements. The company seeks an apology, an injunction stopping SAVE Rivers from reporting community claims, and RM5 million in damages (around 1 million USD). SAVE Rivers has alleged that the concession issued in favor of Samling was allegedly done without compliance with due process and thereby allegedly in violation of the rights of the indigenous communities. Several communities also alleged that they were not consulted about the concessions before their approval. A coalition of local and international organizations, including the Bruno Manser Fund and The Borneo Project, have called on Samling to drop the lawsuit.

The trial is set for 15 May 2023 at the Miri High Court. In April 2023, 160 CSOs signed letter urging the company to withdraw the SLAPP suit against SAVE Rivers.

We invited the company to respond; response provided.

Company Responses

Samling View Response