Ex-Penang BN chief retracts defamatory remarks against Guan Eng

Lim Guan Eng shakes hands with his lawyer K Simon Murali at the High Court in George Town.

GEORGE TOWN: Former Penang Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Teng Chang Yeow retracted his statements deemed defamatory to DAP’s Lim Guan Eng at the High Court here today.

This was part of a consent judgment reached between the parties over a defamation suit brought by Lim against Teng regarding three news reports in the New Straits Times (NST) and Berita Harian (BH) on Jan 17 and 19 last year.

“I regret the hardship and difficulties caused to YB Lim Guan Eng due to the publication of the above news articles.

“I hereby unconditionally and unreservedly retract the impugned statements that I made in a press conference convened on Jan 16 and Jan 18 of 2018,” Teng said before justice Rosilah Yop.

K Simon Murali appeared for Lim while Teng was represented by Kek Boon Wei.

No order was made as to costs.

Last September, New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd (NSTP), the publisher of the NST and BH newspapers, reached a consent judgment in a separate defamation suit brought by Lim.

NSTP paid RM130,000 in damages and published an apology in NST over the articles in question.
On March 13 last year, Lim sued Teng separately over his statements concerning the payments made to the company that won the bid for the Penang undersea tunnel and three main roads project.

Teng, in three articles published in NST and BH on Jan 17 and Jan 19, 2018, implied that Lim had lied about “not paying a single sen” to the contractors when in reality, Teng claimed, payments had been made.

The first article was published in NST with the headline “Come clean on payments, Penang urged”. It was followed by a BH article titled “Pulau Pinang sembunyi fakta bayaran”. Both articles were published on Jan 17. The third article, dated Jan 19, was published in NST with the headline “Penang BN claims CM lied over 4 issues”.

This concerned a RM11.2 million fee paid by the Penang government to engineering firm HSS Integrated Sdn Bhd as independent checking engineers for the tunnel and roads project.

Lim, in his statement of claim, said Teng’s statements gave the people the impression that he had lied about a matter of public interest and abused his power.