Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary Genaral and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang at the Kuala Lumpur High Court after filing legal proceedings of defamation against Lim Keng Yaik, New Sunday Times and the New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd on Wednesday , 16 November 1994 at 11.30am
Defamation suit against Keng Yaik, New Sunday Times and the New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd a test case on defamation on many grounds
I have instituted through my lawyer Karpal Singh defamation proceedings against Gerakan president and minister for Primary Industries Datuk Dr.Lim Keng Yaik,New Sunday Times and the New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd for falsely and maliciously alleging that I had acted disonouradly in arranging for a scholarship from the DAP for my son for higher studies while discriminating against others
This is a bald and downright lie as there is completely no basis in such an allegation.None of my two sons had received a single cent from the DAP for their higher studies in Australia.
My defamation suit against Keng Yaik,New Sunday Times and the New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd will be a test case on defamation in Malaysia on many grounds, namely:-
1. Whether a government minister can make defama tory statements against opposition leaders with impunity or whether the legal immunities that had been removed from the Malay Rulers have now been transferred for all practical purposes to Barisan Nasional leaders;
2. Whether the judiciary can give speedy justice to opposition leaders who had been defamed by government ministers and leaders as in the case of Tan Sri Vincent Tan or whether this defamation suit would be lost in the maze of the courts.
In this connection, Malaysians would want to know whether justice could be done in this case in this case by having the hearing of my latest defarmation suit against Keng Yaik, New Sunday Times and the New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd heard and decided by before the next general elections.
3. Whether I can get fair compensation for the defamation to my character, reputation and credibility committed by Keng Yaik, New Sunday Times and the New Straits Times (M) Bhd.
I had said on Sunday that I am not asking for ten million ringgit as compensation but if Tan Sri Vincent Tan is worth ten million ringgit for defamation committed against him, let the court and country decide the damage of such defamation against me.
I want to make it very clear that I am not being vicious or vindictive in instituting the latest defamation suit against Keng Yaik.
I know that there are people who think Iam being perry-minded in again instituting legal proceedings against Keng Yaik.
It is important for everyone, whether political leaders or opinion-makers, to have a conception of right and wrong ,that at any age, time and place it is plainly wrong to tell lies to defame the character of another person, and instituting legal proceedings to clear one’s name and character is not to indulge in dramatics or play-acting.