Saturday September 8, 2012
Utusan Melayu gets leave to appeal defamation ruling
PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal has granted leave to Utusan Melayu (M) Sdn Bhd to appeal against the award given to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng in a defamation suit for RM200,000.
Court of Appeal president Justice Md Raus Sharif, who chaired a three-man panel, allowed Utusan Melayu leave to appeal the decision yesterday.
Justice Raus, held that it has been a practice to grant leave for appeal cases which were from a court of first instance (from the High Court).
Sitting with him were Court of Appeal judges Justice Zaharah Ibrahim and Justice Mohtarudin Baki.
Justice Raus did not grant an adjournment sought by lawyer Ramkarpal Singh who had earlier informed the court that counsel Jagdeep Singh Deo was on medical leave. TKB Mohana Kumar acted for Utusan.
The Penang High Court had ordered Utusan Malaysia to pay RM200,000 in damages to Lim over a word used in an article dated March 12, 2008, under the heading Tiada Lagi DEB (No More DEB).
In June, Judicial Commissioner Nurmala Salim ruled that there was malice as the newspaper had published something that Lim had not said during a press conference that year.
Lim had sued the daily for reporting that he had used the word menghapuskan (eliminate) in reference to the New Economic Policy (DEB).
Lim had testified on Jan 11 that he did not say he was going to abolish or menghapuskan the DEB but that he would run the government administration free from the DEB that breeds cronyism, corruption and systematic inefficiency.
She also ordered the newspaper to pay RM20,000 in costs and interest at 4% from date of judgment.