“Body shaming” can be costly

PUTRAJAYA, Oct 13: Social media influencer Eira Aziera has failed in her appeal to set aside the High Court’s decision that ordered her to pay RM100,000 in damages for uttering abusive words and ‘body shaming’ a female commissioner of oath via Facebook Live three years ago.

The three-judge panel of the Court of Appeal comprising Judges Datuk Seri Kamaludin Md Said, Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Ibrahim and Datuk S.M. Komathy Suppiah unanimously rejected the appeal of ‘Eira Aziera’ or real name Noorazira Pissal after finding that the appeal had no merit on Thursday.

Judge Ahmad Zaidi, who read the decision today, said the Court of Appeal found that the High Court judge had not erred when deciding that the words expressed by the appellant (Noorazira) against Suharnizan Md Sidek were defamatory.

“Based on the appeal records, we also agree with the High Court judge that the other elements (defamation) have been proven. Therefore, the appeal regarding liability is dismissed and the findings of the High Court judge are upheld. Costs are set at RM10,000,” he said.

Regarding Suharnizan’s counter-appeal for (more than) damages of RM100,000, Judge Ahmad Zaidi said the court found the amount of damages awarded by the trial judge to be reasonable.

“This court found the assessed amount to be reasonable. It is not excessive or insufficient and the High Court judge has taken into account the factors of cyberbullying and body shaming in awarding the amount of damages. 

“We also find that the counter-appeal has no merit and the quantum (previously set) is upheld. Therefore, the counter-appeal is dismissed with costs of RM10,000,” he said at the online proceedings.

Noorazira was represented by lawyer Yahaya Ahmad while Suharnizan was represented by lawyers Rasheed Hassan and Ashraf Hilmy.

On May 30, 2022, the Johor Bahru High Court ordered Noorazira as the defendant to pay RM100,000 in damages to Suharnizan after allowing her lawsuit against the social media influencer.