Ex-IGP Hanif apologises to Kit Siang to settle defamation suit
Former inspector-general of police (IGP) Mohammed Hanif Omar has apologised in open court to settle a defamation suit against him by DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang.
Malay daily Sinar Harian has also agreed today to publish a written apology to Lim in relation to carrying Hanif’s statements in two articles published in September 2018.
The Iskandar Puteri MP filed the defamation suit on Oct 19, 2018, against Hanif (above, left) over the latter’s remark on Lim’s arrest linked to the May 13, 1969, racial riots.
Sinar Harian was later added as a second defendant in Lim’s suit in relation to the articles “Tun Hanif buat pendedahan DAP, PAS” (Hanif reveals DAP, PAS) and “Hanif Omar tak nyanyuk” (Hanif is not senile), published on Sept 6 and 11, 2018, respectively.
Lim’s counsel Sangeet Kaur Deo confirmed that the consent order to settle the suit was recorded before Kuala Lumpur High Court judicial commissioner Quay Chew Soon this morning.
According to a copy of the draft consent order made available to the media, Hanif apologised and retracted statements he made about Lim in 2018.
“I hereby express my unreserved apology for the statements I made about Lim during the Konvensyen Keramah Bangsa at UiTM on Sept 6, 2018. I unconditionally retract my said statements in their entirety.
“I confirm that Lim’s arrest in 1969 was not on the basis that he called for Malaysia to be divided on racial lines and further confirm that he never suggested that,” Hanif said.
Kit Siang retracts statement
As part of the consent judgment, Lim also apologised over statements made about Hanif which was published on the DAP veteran’s blog, his Twitter and on the political party’s organ Rocketkini on Sept 7, 2018.
Hanif previously filed a counterclaim against Lim, and today’s consent order would settle the counterclaim as well.
“I herewith accept the apology and retraction by Hanif.
“I express regret that this unfortunate incident occurred and retract in entirety my statement dated Sept 7, 2018, against Hanif published in my blog and on the Rocketkini website.
“I also retract in entirety my tweet dated Sept 7, 2018,” Lim said.
On Sinar Harian’s part, the newspaper also agreed to publish a written apology to Lim in its print edition and its news site no later than Sept 25, and would be read out in court.
The daily also agreed to retract the impugned publications that formed the basis of Lim’s lawsuit.
Today was initially fixed for a full hearing of Lim’s suit against Hanif and Sinar Harian. However, with the settlement, the trial dates have been vacated.
News portal The Edge Markets reported that the parties had previously mounted a failed attempt to settle the suit. MKINI
Ex-IGP Hanif apologises to Kit Siang over racial remark
“I confirm that the plaintiff’s (Lim) arrest in 1969 was not on the basis that he called for the country to be divided according to racial lines,” Hanif said in his apology.
Hanif had allegedly made the statement while delivering a speech at the Karamah Bangsa Convention held at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Shah Alam, on September 6, 2018, which was published by Malay daily Sinar Harian on the same day.
Lim filed a suit on October 17, 2018 against Hanif and Sinar Harian, claiming that the statement was defamatory. He also alleged that Hanif’s remark had tarnished his reputation as a lawmaker and a public figure.
Lim sought a retraction, general, aggravated and exemplary damages, as well as an injunction and apology to prevent them from repeating or republishing the statement.
Sinar Harian will also be publishing an open apology to Lim this week over their news report pertaining to Hanif’s comment.
The court ordered Sinar Harian to pay RM20,000 in costs to Lim.
In relation to Hanif’s counter claim against Lim’s comment that the former IGP created a “cock and bull story” over his 1969 detention under the now-repealed Internal Security Act (ISA), Lim retracted this statement.
“I express regret that this unfortunate incident occurred and retract my statement on September 7, 2018 against Tun Hanif,” he told the court. TMI
MKINI / THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT