19 February 2018
19 February 2018
FZ ordered to pay RM185k for defaming Guan Eng over Merc
The High Court in Penang today ordered the now-defunct news portal FZ.com and its managing editor Terence Fernandez to pay a total of RM320,000 to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and businessperson Tan Kok Ping for defamation.
The defamation suit involved an article titled “MACC begins probe on Merc purchase,” written by Fernandez and published by FZ.com on Jan 3, 2014.
The article stated that the commission was allegedly trying to establish a link between the Penang government’s purchase of a silver Mercedes-Benz S300L from Lowe Motors Sdn Bhd, and Tan, who was then believed to have a stake in the company.
However, on the same day, the MACC denied issuing a statement that it had started probing the purchase of the vehicle for Lim.
Justice Abdul Wahab Mohamed ordered FZ Sdn Bhd and Fernandez (photo) to pay RM150,000 to Lim and RM100,000 to Tan in general damages, and RM35,000 each for legal costs.
During the trial, Lim had denied being probed by the MACC, adding that the article painted him as “corrupt, dishonest, untrustworthy and not fit to be a leader”.
He also refuted the alleged “privileged relationship” with Tan, then the head of Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce.
“The court found the article defamatory as it did not seek the comments from the plaintiffs before it was uploaded online,” Lim’s lawyer N Mureli told reporters outside court.
Guan Eng welcomes MACC probe on Merc
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng continues to battle public queries on his latest purchase of a Mercedes-Benz for official use by welcoming any proposed investigation by the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC).
“Whether MACC will eventually investigate or not, full cooperation will be given to the commission as the state government is clean and I have nothing to hide,” said Lim at a press conference today.
“I will not be asking MACC why no investigation was conducted on BN governments who made similar purchases without the 55 percent discount,” he quipped.
Lim was responding to a report in news portal FZ.com yesterday, quoting sources that claimed the commission has started a probe on the state’s purchase of the 2012 Mercedez-Benz S300L.
The report alleged that MACC is trying to establish a link between the purchase from Lowe Motors Sdn Bhd and tycoon Tan Kok Ping, who is believed to have a stake in the company.