KUALA LUMPUR: The defamation suit brought by DAP veteran leader Lim Kit Siang against former Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tun Mohammed Hanif Omar has reached a settlement after the latter apologised in the High Court today.
The suit was in relation to a statement by the ex-top cop alleging that the Iskandar Puteri Member of Parliament had intentionally ordered the party to split Peninsular Malaysia into two, to divide the Malays and the Chinese.
Syarikat Sinar Karangkraf Sdn Bhd which was also sued by Lim also apologised in court through its representative over its reports on Mohammed Hanif's statement dated Sept 6 and Sept 11, 2018.
Lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo who represented Lim said both the defendants (Mohammed Hanif and Sinar Karangkraf) read their statement of apology before judicial commissioner Quay Chew Soon during the proceeding which was conducted via Zoom today.
She said the court then recorded the settlement and consent order.
The hearing of the suit was to begin today, but at the onset of the proceeding, parties decided to resolve the matter through a consent order.
Based on the consent order draft, Mohammed Hanif had apologised and retracted the statement he made against Lim at the 'Karamah Bangsa' convention in Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Shah Alam, on Sept 6, 2018.
"I hereby express my unreserved apology for the statements I made about Lim Kit Siang during the convention. I unconditionally retract my said statements in their entirety.
"I confirm that Lim Kit Siang's arrest in 1969 was not on the basis that he called for Malaysia to be divided on racial lines and further confirmed that he never suggested that," he said in his statement of apology.
Lim in accepting the apology expressed regret and retracted the statements he made relating to Mohammed Hanif.
"I express regret that this unfortunate incident occurred and retract in entirety my statement dated Sept 7, 201, against Hanif on my blog and on the Roketkini website.
"I also retract in entirety my tweet dated Sept 7, 2018," the DAP leader said.
Meanwhile, Sinar Karangkraf, the publisher of Malay daily Sinar Harian, would publish its written apology by Sept 25.
The plaintiff (Lim) will withdraw the claims against the company with costs of RM20,000 which has to be paid by Sept 27.
In the proceeding, counsel Datuk Muralee Menon represented Mohammed Hanif while counsel Zuwita Kamaruzaman appeared for Sinar Karangkraf.
Lim filed the suit on Oct 17, 2018, claiming that the statement made by Mohammed Hanif had ruined his reputation as an MP and public figure.
Previously, Lim had named Mohammed Hanif as the sole defendant in the suit.
In March last year, the court granted Lim's application to name Syarikat Sinar as the second defendant.
He had sought to add the media publishing company as a defendant on grounds that it had published the defamatory statement by Mohammed Hanif.