KUALA LUMPUR: Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng lost his defamation claim against former Serdang Baru DAP member Yap Kon Min for implying that he was unethical and dishonest.
High Court judge Hue Siew Kheng ruled that Yap had succeeded in his defence of justification and fair comment.
Justice Hue held that the defence was sufficient due to the facts in the Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya (MBPJ) audit report attached by Yap to support his contention.
She said there was no malice in the defendant's action in sending a letter to various parties against Lim.
"I dismissed the plaintiff's claim with costs," she said and awarded Yap RM20,000.
Speaking to reporters later, Yap said he was happy with the ruling.
He said the audit report found that the legal fees quoted in a landlord and tenant case was irregular.
In his amended claim filed on Oct 1 last year, Lim said that Yap had written a complaint letter on May 18,2012 to the Bar Council against him that contained defamatory words.
Lim said Yap had wrongfully sent copies of the letter to the Selangor Mentri Besar, Selangor Legislative Assembly's Speaker office, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and Selangor state secretary's office.
He said the words had implied that he was a criminal and involved in abuse of power, not fit to be a lawyer and hold public office as a politician.
In his statement of defence, Yap said his letter to the Bar Council was based on the special audit report prepared by MBPJ on the appointment of Messrs Stella,Lim & Co to handle Syarikat Maju Curry House's case amounting to RM128,000.
Yap said he wanted to give information to the council to investigate allegations of Lim's misconduct.