Court to hear bid to strike out suit over Jerejak comments on June 11

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018

GEORGE TOWN: Penang Gerakan chairman Teng Chang Yeow’s bid to strike out a defamation suit by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng regarding a Pulau Jerejak land deal will be heard before a High Court on June 11.

Justice Datuk Rosilah Yop set the date following case management in chambers yesterday.

Teng’s application to strike out the suit was based on the grounds that Lim could not file a suit in his capacity as Chief Minister.

His counsel Kek Boon Wei said the application was based on the principles decided in an English law case, Derbyshire County Council vs The Times Newspapers Ltd and Others (1993), which stated that local authorities could not institute libel action in their official capacity.

“A person in an official capacity cannot take action as they must be open to criticism,” he said when met outside the court.

Lim, represented by Datuk N. Mureli, is suing Teng over his comments on 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, business (north) David Tan and journalist Crystal Chiam Shiying as the second, third and fourth defendants in the suit.

The three defamation suits filed by Lim against acting Gerakan Youth chief Jason Loo also came up for mention in chambers.

The defamation suits were related to statements Loo made in late May last year, over the sale of state land in Peel Avenue to a private hospital.

Loo, who was also present, said he was planning on applying to strike out the defamation suits as well. The case management has been set on May 14.

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