Donations flow in as Kepong MP crowdfunds to pay RM2m after losing defamation suit to avoid bankruptcy
KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 — Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng today took to Facebook to launch a crowdfund for the RM2 million compensation and RM250,000 legal costs, which the High Court has ordered him to pay to local company MonSpace (M) Sdn Bhd and its founder Datuk Seri Jessy Lai who had sued the DAP lawmaker for defamation.
Within about an hour, donations have flowed in from multiple Facebook users who voiced support for Lim.
In his plea for donations, Lim said he had on numerous occasions over the years helped victims of investment scams like YSLM's Zhang Jian, JJPTR, Royal Gold, without fearing the "evil forces".
Lim noted that he had in 2016 tried to help a group of individuals who sought help, but ended up being embroiled in a lawsuit where he was ordered yesterday by the High Court to pay RM2.25 million.
Although he did not mention the lawsuit specifically, it would be in relation to the defamation lawsuit by Monspace and Lai which he lost yesterday.
Lim said the RM2.25 million sum was unprecedented but said it would not discourage him from continuing to stand up for justice, adding that he has already filed an appeal but is still required to pay this amount.
He said he would face the prospect of becoming bankrupt, which would mean he would be disqualified as an MP, if he cannot pay the money in time.
"To raise RM2.25 million in cash in a short time is very difficult, if unable to pay this amount of money, I would definitely face bankruptcy, and also be disqualified from continuing to voice out for the public in Parliament," he wrote in the Facebook post in Mandarin.
Asking for Malaysians to donate and stand together with him for justice, Lim promised he would definitely donate the entire sum to charitable and educational bodies when his appeal succeeds and the RM2.25 million sum is returned.
He provided the client's account for the law firm Guok Partnership which is representing him. A client's account is where law firms hold money for their clients on trust.
In just about an hour since his Facebook post was posted, many Facebook users who left comments expressed support for him and also showed bank transaction receipts as proof of their donations to Lim's crowdfund.
Donation amounts varied from amounts such as RM10 to RM1,000, based on the transaction receipts posted on Facebook by the users.
Asking for Malaysians to donate and stand together with him for justice, Lim promised he would definitely donate the entire sum to charitable and educational bodies when his appeal succeeds and the RM2.25 million sum is returned. — Screen capture via Facebook/Lim Lip Eng
When contacted by Malay Mail today, Lim's lawyer Guok Ngek Seong confirmed that an appeal was filed yesterday afternoon against the High Court's decision.
Guok said preparations are being made for an application for a stay order to be filed in the High Court.
The stay order application will seek to suspend the enforcement of the High Court order, while waiting for the Court of Appeal to hear and decide on the appeal.
But applications for stay is not automatically granted, as the courts can decide to either dismiss or allow the stay applications.
If Lim fails to get a stay at the High Court, Guok said they would then file for a stay at the Court of Appeal.
In the lawsuit filed in June 2019, Lai had accused Lim of making allegedly defamatory remarks against the company and her by speaking to the media during a visit to MonSpace’s headquarters in Bukit Jalil on May 23, 2017, claiming that the remarks implied she was dishonest, not law-abiding, running an illegal business and having cheated its Chinese investors.
Lim, Sungai Pelek assemblyman Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew had gone with 19 Chinese nationals, who claimed they were victims of the MonSpace investment scheme, to the company headquarters to demand a refund or an explanation on why their investment had not materialised.