Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

National marathoner Soh Rui Yong files defamation writ against S'pore Athletics executive director

SINGAPORE — A spat between national marathoner Soh Rui Yong and a sports official is now headed for the courts after the runner filed a defamation writ.

National marathoner Soh Rui Yong (pictured) has followed through on his threat to sue Singapore Athletics executive director Syed Abdul Malik Aljunied for alleged defamation.

National marathoner Soh Rui Yong (pictured) has followed through on his threat to sue Singapore Athletics executive director Syed Abdul Malik Aljunied for alleged defamation.

Follow us on Instagram and Tiktok, and join our Telegram channel for the latest updates.

SINGAPORE — A spat between national marathoner Soh Rui Yong and a sports official is now headed for the courts after the runner filed a defamation writ.

In a post on his Facebook page on Tuesday (Aug 27), Mr Soh said that his lawyers filed the writ against Singapore Athletics (SA) executive director Syed Abdul Malik Aljunied, as Mr Malik has yet to respond to a legal letter that Mr Soh’s lawyers had sent him on Aug 19.

In the letter, Mr Soh had threatened to sue Mr Malik unless he paid compensation and issued a public apology to Mr Soh for allegedly defamatory comments that Mr Malik posted on his Facebook page on Aug 17.

Mr Malik had posted a photo of himself with two children. In the caption, he wrote that he hoped one of the children would take up the 400m hurdles sporting event, and added that they should be “careful” of the marathon as it could “end up messing up with your mind and heart”.

He also stated in a comment that he has observed this in only “one particular runner so far” and that marathons have “drained” this individual of “empathy, compassion, gratitude and the capability to love others”. He did not mention any names in his comment.

In the Aug 19 letter sent to Mr Malik, Mr Soh’s lawyer Clarence Lun said that the Facebook comment by Mr Malik could only be taken to refer to Mr Soh.

Earlier this month, the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) turned down SA’s nomination of Mr Soh to be part of the Singapore team headed for the South-east Asian (SEA) Games in the Philippines in November and December. Mr Soh is a two-time SEA Games gold-medal winner.

Responding to queries, an SNOC spokesperson told TODAY that it is not involved in the legal proceedings between Mr Soh and Mr Malik: “The exchanges of letters between Soh Rui Yong and SNOC have been well-publicised by Soh Rui Yong, and (we) have nothing to do with the post made by Malik Aljunied in his personal capacity.”

The spokesperson added that the SNOC will not be making any further comments relating to the lawsuit.

Mr Soh posted the legal statement of claim on his blog. It stated that Mr Malik’s Facebook post was defamatory as it meant that Mr Soh was a person “who lacks proper moral character”.

The statement of claim also alleged that the Facebook comments could expose Mr Soh to “hatred, contempt and ridicule”.

In his Facebook post on Tuesday, Mr Soh warned sports officials that they should be prepared to back up their claims if they decide to “denounce athletes publicly”. Otherwise, he added, they should be prepared to be held accountable.

“I now wish Malik all the best, the sooner you apologise, the better for you, SA and SNOC,” he said.

TODAY has sought comment from Mr Malik.

Related topics

Soh Rui Yong Singapore Athletics lawyer defamation marathon Facebook post

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.