Kit Siang authorises lawyers to file anotherr two  RM250 million  defamation suits one against New Straits Times and another against New Sunday Times for defamatory cartoons

Media Statement
- after filing a RM250 million defamation suit against Utusan Malaysia
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Kuala Lumpur, Tuesday): I am instituting a RM250  million defamation suit against Utusan Malaysia for its news report last Saturday, 13th February 1999, alleging that I am not patriotic.

The Utusan Malaysia report (p. 9) under the headline, "Kit Siang tidak patriotik - PBPM" reads:

Utusan Malaysia must take full responsibility for this report and in particular  the heading "Kit Siang tidak patriotik".  If describing the Parliamentary Opposition Leader and a seven-term Member of Parliament as unpatriotic is not defamatory, then I do not know what is defamatory.

I am instituting the RM250 million  defamation suit against Utusan Malaysia for four reasons:

In deciding on the RM250 million defamation suit against Utusan Malaysia, my lawyers and I have taken into account two recent defamation suits, one by the  son of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Mirzan Mahathir, who sued the printers of Asian Wall Street Journal (AWSJ) - Star Papyrus, a subsidiary of Star Publications - for RM150 million for an article entitled Mahathir's Eldest Son Limits Ambitions written by Mr Bruce Knecht and the other by Berjaya Group chairman and chief executive Tan Sri Vincent Tan who sued  Star Papyrus  for RM 200 million for  another AWSJ article entitled Malaysia Props Up Crony Capitalists written by local academic Professor K.S. Jomo.

My lawyers have prepared  another RM250 million defamation suit against the Deputy Home Minister, Datuk Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir for his most defamatory statements against me when he said that  I had made "baseless"  allegations about the  prison conditions of DAP Deputy Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Guan Eng,   to gain "political mileage and publicity by tarnishing the image of the government" and  that my allegations were "merely lies which were unfair to the prison officers who were serving with much dedication".

Abdul Kadir even made the preposterous allegation that I was trying to "thwart the Government's efforts to bring investors back" and "scare away tourists".

I have however instructed my lawyers to hold on to the RM250 million  defamation suit against Abdul Kadir as I want to give the new Deputy Home Minister a chance to clarify that he was misled with facts and data about prison conditions and life which made him say things which he should  have never  said but for which he must bear full personal responsibility - such as calling me a "liar".

I will instruct my lawyers to file the mega defamation suit against Abdul Kadir if he is not prepared to retract all the baseless allegations he had made against me and admit that the prison conditions in Malaysia fail to comply with  minimum international standards.

I have today given instructions to my lawyers to institute another two RM250 million defamation suits, one against the New Straits Times and another against the New Sunday Times, for publishing most defamatory cartoons against me, the former on 19th February 1999 and the latter on 21st February 1999.

DAP Deputy Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka,Lim Guan Eng, had on 20th February, 1999, through his wife, Betty Chew, sent a letter of protest to the New Straits Times (NST) against the cartoon which appeared last Friday, but his letter was completely blacked out by the NST.

In his letter, Guan Eng expressed his "anger" at  the NST  political cartoon by M.Desa. In that cartoon, a prison was drawn with McDonalds fast food joint, gymnasium, circus, dangdut bar, Astro TV, Hard Rock Café and even a girlie massage parlour located inside its walls and barbed fencing.

In his letter to the NST, Guan Eng said:

The M.Desa cartoon in the NST in 19th Feb. 1999 was already most defamatory, but the M.Desa cartoon in the New Sunday Times of 21st February 1999 was even more defamatory a thousand-fold.


*Lim Kit Siang - Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Democratic Action Party Secretary-General & Member of Parliament for Tanjong