The Penang High Court today ordered the New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd (NSTP) to pay RM300,000 damages to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng for defamation.
Justice Rosilah Yop made the decision after allowing Lim’s lawsuit against NSTP, the first defendant in regard to an article published by Berita Harian on the settlement of his defamation suit against Bagan Umno chief Shaik Hussein.
The court also ordered NSTP to pay RM35,000 cost and interest of 5% on the judgement to the plaintiff.
In March 2016, Lim sued NSTP for publishing an article allegedly defamatory to him in its newspaper, ‘Berita Harian’ on Aug 20, 2015, about his withdrawal the day before, of a lawsuit against the state Umno Youth chief.
In his statement of claim, he said the defendant had the legal, social and moral obligation to practise responsible journalism.
In her judgement, Rosilah held that the article published by Berita Harian was defamatory to the plaintiff.
“The plaintiff succeeded in establishing his case on the balance of probabilities against the defendant,” she held.
She said the rectification made by NSTP after the publication of the article was also not satisfactory to the plaintiff.
Lim was represented by counsel Simon Murali while NSTP’s lawyer was Leong Wai Hong.
Meanwhile, Leong told reporters when met that he was awaiting instructions from his client as to whether to file an appeal or not.