17 March 2017
Penang CM slapped with first-of-its-kind defamation suit by journalist
GEORGE TOWN: In what may be the first case of its kind, a senior journalist today filed a defamation suit against Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
In his statement of claim, Ong Beng Siang, 40, from Guang Ming Daily alleged that Lim, through his Facebook account, had slandered him in a posting.
Ong said the posting was also malicious and aimed at tarnishing his reputation and good name as a journalist in the eyes of the public.
In his Facebook posting, Lim had said that he knows of the existence of a journalist who is out to paint the state government in a bad light.
He had also posted that if the journalist wants to overthrow the state government, he should use facts and not publish baseless reports.
Lim’s posting followed an article written by Ong.
Ong also alleged that Lim’s posting had painted him as someone unprofessional, unethical in carrying out his profession, immoral, dishonest, someone untrustworthy and as someone unprincipled, among others.
Ong is demanding an apology from Lim, as well as general, exemplary and aggravated damages.
He is also asking the court for an injunction to prevent Lim and any of his agents from repeating the slander against him.
Chinese daily reporter sues
@cmlimguaneng for calling him ‘unprofessional, unethical’
A Chinese daily reporter has filed a defamation suit against Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng at the Penang High Court today.
Met at the court house, Ong Beng Siang said: “My main intention for doing this is to clear my name, defend my dignity and that of my comrades in the profession”.
Ong, 40, has been a reporter at Guang Ming Daily for 23 years, and claimed to have a respected reputation among his peers.
His lawyer Baljit Singh said a letter of demand had been sent to Lim on March 6 but there has been no reply from the CM.
On Jan 22, Lim reportedly remarked in his Facebook that there are reporters who wish to tarnish the reputation of the Penang government, and if they wish to topple the government, please use “facts instead of publishing baseless reports”.
Lim was upset with Ong for publishing a report which alleged that the board of directors of Chung Hwa 3 had decided not to build another branch on a plot of land provided by the state government due to its strict policies.
However, the school’s directors had denied the report, saying their decision not to build another branch was not related to the state government.
This prompted Lim to issue the statement against Ong, which he deemed offensive.