GEORGE TOWN, Nov 22 — Former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng and former state Barisan Nasional chairman Teng Chang Yeow have settled a defamation suit over an article on Pulau Jerejak in a consent judgement at the Penang High Court here today.
Both parties have reached an agreement for a consent judgement to settle Lim’s suit against Teng whereby Teng read out an apology to Lim in court this morning.
In the proceedings this morning, Teng read out an unconditional and unreserved apology to Lim and retracted his statements that he made in a press conference on November 15 in 2016, which were then published in The Star, The Star Online, Ming Daily and Sin Chew Daily on November 16 in 2016.
“I regret the hardship and difficulties caused to YB Lim Guan Eng due to the publication of the above,” he read out.
After reading out his apology and retraction, the consent judgement was recorded in the High Court.
Teng bumped fists with Lim after reading out his apology and retraction before leaving the courthouse without speaking to the media.
Lim had filed a suit against Teng in April 2017, naming Teng, who is also former Penang Gerakan chairman, Star Media Group Berhad news editor David Tan, and then journalist Crystal Chiam Shiying as defendants.
Teng filed an application to the Penang High Court to strike out the suit and the High Court allowed Teng’s application on June 29 in 2018.
However, Lim filed an appeal to the Court of Appeal to strike out the High Court’s decision but when the appeal was heard on November 12, both parties came to an agreement to settle the case through a consent judgement earlier this month.
The three-member panel in the Court of Appeal led by Justice Datuk Seri Kamaludin Md Said ordered the case to be sent back to the Penang High Court for the consent judgment to be recorded.
In the consent judgment, it was also agreed by both parties that the legal costs of RM75,000 for the case to will paid by Teng to Lim.
Later, outside the courtroom, Lim said the Penang state government under his administration all worked towards the benefit of the state.
“We have rebutted all these false allegations against us, we will have to continue to do so and I also have other court cases coming up, both civil and criminal, where we can demonstrate that Penang state government has no politically motivated intentions except to work what is best in the interest of the state and the people,” he said.
He said the state practices an open tender system and yet it continued to be attacked relentlessly so the conclusion of the case today proved that the state practices competency, accountability and transparency in running the administration.