KUALA LUMPUR: Former Malacca Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Tamby Chik withdrew his defamation suit with no order as to costs against the DAP and two of its leaders at the High Court yesterday after a statement was read by DAP's lawyer in open court.
The hearing of the suit was initially fixed for continuation, which had started with Abdul Rahim taking the stand on Jan 22, but a change of events took place during yesterday's proceedings when Abdul Rahim's counsel Firuz Hussein informed the court that both parties had reached a settlement.
“I wish to inform the court that both parties, after lengthy negotiations, have reached a settlement.
“It is agreed that the counsel for the defendants will read the statement in open court and the suit will then be withdrawn with no order as to costs,'' said Firuz.
In reading the one-page statement for and on behalf of the defendants, DAP chairman Lim Kit Siang and its adviser Dr Chen Man Hin, counsel Karpal Singh said: “We, the Democratic Action Party, hereby refer to the book published by us entitled Lim Guan Eng-MP in Jail and to the poster campaign which we embarked on relating to the plaintiff and we hereby make the following statements:
“We must stress we made the allegations relating to Abdul Rahim contained in the book and poster as we believed them to be true at the material time based on statements made by Pendek Ahmad to Lim Guan Eng and by the girl who was implicated in this case and ACP Mok at the High Court, Malacca, in a criminal trial in 1995.
“However in view of subsequent events, in particular the retraction of the allegations by the girl under oath by way of a Statutory Declaration and the fact that similar allegations made by Time magazine and Asiaweek have resulted in an apology being given to Abdul Rahim;
“We now realise that the basis for the allegations we made against Abdul Rahim in the book and poster no longer exists, and in view of this, the said allegations are wholly unfounded.
“Accordingly, we acknowledge that these unfortunate events have caused all parties concerned, including Abdul Rahim and family, great distress and anguish,'' read Karpal Singh.
At the conclusion of the statement, Firuz then informed the court that Abdul Rahim, who is currently Artac Holdings Sdn Bhd executive chairman, wished to withdraw the suit against the two defendants.
Abdul Rahim had filed a suit against Lim, who was DAP secretary-general at the time, in connection with the publication and distribution of the book and posters he claimed was libellous.
After recording the statement, Justice Datuk James Foong said he was delighted that the case was settled.
“As a result of the incident alleged in the statement of claim, so many unfortunate events had occurred which has affected the lives of many.
“Such occurrences could not be undone except to accept them as fate and part of history, I hope with this case coming to a conclusion, all parties will live in harmony for the greater prosperity and good of this country,'' said Justice Foong.