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DCM suit: Karpal backs Star

 | February 11, 2012

The DAP veteran has lauded the newspaper for standing by its report which P Ramasamy claims defamed him.

GEORGE TOWN: The Star and its journalist Ian McIntyre have received an unlikely cheerleader in their legal battle with Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy in the form of DAP supremo Karpal Singh.

The Bukit Gelugor MP believes that the English tabloid was right to stand-by its article published on Dec 23, which Ramasamy, DAP’s deputy secretary-general, claimed had defamed him.

“I support Star for having stood up against Ramasamy over his denial of making a statement that DAP leaders asked for projects from him. The Star has done the right thing by standing by what had been written in the article.

“At times, media groups must take a firm position to stand by their reports. I support the Star for what it has done and is doing pertaining to the report,” he told a press conference here.

On the same note, Karpal wished Ramasamy “all the luck he needs” in his suit.

The DAP veteran’s open backing for the national daily has dealt a major blow to Ramasamy, who is set to file the RM10 million-defamation suit next Monday.

His lawyer, Sungkai assemblyman A Sivanesan, would file the suit at the Kuala Lumpur High Court at 2.30pm.

Ramasamy is claiming RM5 million in damages from each defendant – the tabloid and its journalist.

In the said article, the Star quoted Ramasamy as saying that there was a plot to oust him because he turned down requests for projects and favours from the party’s grassroots.

The report headlined – “Distress in DAP continues” – prompted Karpal to call for Ramasamy’s resignation from the Pakatan Rakyat state government.

But Ramasamy accused the Star of publishing a baseless and frivolous report. During a press conference on Dec 26, he openly denied making the published statements.

Focus on disciplinary hearing

Meanwhile, Karpal said the party cannot afford to allow Ramasamy to go scot free for his graft allegations against party leaders and members.

“He accuses DAP leaders of corrupt practices. The statement is indefensible, unjustified and unwarranted,” said the opposition leader.

Instead of suing others, Karpal advised Ramasamy to focus on defending himself in the impending party disciplinary proceedings against him.

The DAP national chairman confirmed that four complaints had been lodged by the party’s grassroots against Ramasamy for various breaches of discipline.

Regardless of the suit, some segments of party’s grassroots had called on Ramasamy to quit as DCM because they wanted him “to clear the air and come out clean from the controversy” before returning to active politics.

Commenting on this call, Karpal said: “It was up to Ramasamy to decide.”


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