DAP trio, PAS lawmaker to enter court-advised mediation to resolve defamation suits

DAP chairman Lim Guan Eng and two other party stalwarts are scheduled for court-advised mediation with Siti Mastura Muhammad over their defamation suits against the PAS lawmaker.

While the suit will go on trial for six days in September, counsel SN Nair, who is acting for Guan Eng, DAP veteran Tan Sri Lim Kit Siang and Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, has confirmed that the Penang High Court in Georgetown had advised parties to attempt mediation.

On Nov 27 last year, Kit Siang and Guan Eng filed suits in the High Court against Siti Mastura for alleging they had blood ties with former Communist Party of Malaya leader Ong Boon Hua, popularly known by his nom de guerre Chin Peng, and Singapore’s first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew.

Siti Mastura is alleged to have made the remarks during a speech at a Kemaman by-election campaign event at Dewan Berlian, Majlis Perbandaran Kemaman, on Nov 4.

Previously, it was reported that Siti Mastura, in her statement of defence, claimed that her remarks were based on legitimate facts sourced from a book published by the Barisan Nasional communications department as part of the coalition’s 15th general election campaign material.

She also cited the same source for her claims that Kit Siang and Guan Eng were Lee’s cousins, and that Kok is a cousin of Betty Chew, Guan Eng’s wife.

However, in the DAP trio’s reply filed in court, the plaintiffs contended that doctorate holder Siti Mastura should have double-checked and not relied on a debunked source over the blood ties allegation.

“It is incumbent on academicians/researchers like her, as a rule of thumb, being formally trained in research techniques and protocols, be fully aware that only materials that are wholly, inter alia, authentic, authoritative, peer-reviewed and reliable, shall be relied upon and nothing else,” the three plaintiffs said.

“Failing which, any such reference to unauthentic, unauthoritative and unreliable references to the so-called publication, the existence of which has been debunked as non-existent by BN itself, is deemed to be, inter alia, extremely irresponsible, reckless and grossly negligent.

“As such, the defendant’s alleged research on the matter is wholly preposterous and unbecoming of a politician and more so a doctorate holder.”

The plaintiffs seek general, compensatory, aggravated and exemplary damages, as well as an injunction to restrain the defendant from further uttering the allegation. – May 15, 2024


Main pic credit: Bernama

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