GEORGE TOWN, March 21 ― The High Court here today postponed the hearing of a defamation suit filed by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng against state Barisan Nasional chairman Teng Chang Yeow and three others over an article on Pulau Jerejak.
Judge Datuk Rosilah Yop made the decision in chambers after allowing Lim’s application to disqualify lawyer Datuk K. Kirubakaran, representing Teng in the suit, which was initially set for hearing today.
Teng, when met by reporters outside the court said Lim filed the application to disqualify Kirubakaran as the latter had represented the Penang state government in an unrelated case.
“When I appointed Kirubakaran, he informed me that he had represented the Penang state government in an unrelated case.
“I had no objection on that matter as I believe in Kirubakaran’s professionalism. Kirubakaran had also informed the state government before he was appointed by me. There was no objection at that time, so I am aggrieved by the last minute’s application to disqualify my lawyer,” he said.
Teng said the court then set April 13 for case management.
In April last year, Lim filed the suit naming Teng, who is also Penang Gerakan chairman, Star Media Group Berhad news editor David Tan and journalist Crystal Chiam Shiying as defendants.
In his statement of claim, Lim, represented by lawyer Datuk N. Mureli, claimed that Teng had given the permission and/or caused the defamatory and false statements to be written and published in the newspaper and its website through the second, third and fourth defendants.
He claimed that the third and fourth defendants had maliciously published a defamatory and false statement in an article titled “Pulau Jerejak land sale questioned” dated Nov 16, 2016, which referred to the plaintiff (Lim).
Lim is seeking general, exemplary and aggravated damages, interest, costs and other relief deemed fit by the court. ― Bernama