PUTRAJAYA: A legal battle over a defamation suit brought by Lim Guan Eng has been put on hold pending a ruling on whether Lim could sue in his official capacity as chief minister of Penang at the time.
Lim had filed an appeal against a High Court ruling to strike out the suit against former Penang Gerakan chairman Teng Chang Yeow regarding a land deal in Pulau Jerejak.
Teng’s lawyer, Kek Boon Wei, said today the Court of Appeal deputy registrar, Haslinda Basarudin, had fixed another case management hearing on May 21.
He said the appeal court would need to await the Federal Court’s decision on whether Lim could file a suit for defamation in his official capacity.
That legal question is to be decided in a different appeal brought by Lim against the Malay rights group Perkasa which had labelled him as a “Singapore agent”.
The Federal Court has yet to fix a hearing date although Lim was given leave to appeal last year.
Lim’s suit against Teng was struck out by the Penang High Court in April 2018 on the ground that Lim did not have locus standi to file the suit as chief minister.
Lim had sued over comments made by Teng in November 2016 regarding a Penang Development Corporation deal surrounding a piece of land in Pulau Jerejak.
He also named Star Media Group Berhad, its news editor, northern region business journalist David Tan and journalist Crystal Chiam Shiying as defendants over their reports on the controversy.