KUALA LUMPUR — August 2, 2019: The Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF) has offered to withdraw its lawsuit against a journalist it had accused of misrepresentation to qualify for its sponsorship to attend a course in Germany in 2017.
HRDF’s counsel, in an email to the lawyer of M. Krishnamoorthy, stated that his client has offered the defence a fixed cost of RM925 should the journalist agree for the case to be withdrawn.
“The cost of RM925 shall be settled within seven days after the case is withdrawn. We seek your consent to withdraw the proceedings on those terms. Please let us have your client’s response by 8.8.2019,” read HRDF’s email.
Krishnamoorthy’s tangle with HRDF — an agency under the human resource ministry — started in March when it told the court that it had obtained confirmation from news portal Malaysiakini that he was not its journalist.
HRDF also claimed that Krishnamoorthy had doctored a pay-slip from Malaysiakini to be selected to participate in the course which was meant for journalists.
Claiming that Krishnamoorthy had unjustly enriched himself by going on the course, HRDF sought RM53,385 — the amount in which HRDF had sponsored for each participant — with interest.
In his statement of defence in March, Krishnamoorthy asserted that he was a journalist as well as a columnist with 190 articles published by Malaysiakini since 2009 and was an editor of several books.
He asserted that HRDF had no legal standing to sue him, claiming that the training was jointly organised by human resource company K-Pintar Sdn. Bhd. and European School of Management.
He said HRDF was not involved in his participation, as his selection to join the course was made by K-Pintar, thus HRDF should have directed its claims towards the company if it had struck any deal in relation to the training.
“K-Pintar had approved my application without objections, further stating that it was impossible that I had committed fraud or misrepresentation towards HRDF as I had only dealt with K-Pintar,” read Krishnamoorthy’s statement.
He has also filed a counter suit but has yet to reply to The Mole’s inquiry on whether he will accept HRDF’s offer and drop his suit.
A columnist and former journalist with the Star, M. Veera Pandiyan, is caught in a similar tangle.