Utusan apologises to Guan Eng in court settlement

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Utusan Melayu (M) apologised to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng in a defamation suit he filed over an article published in Utusan Malaysia on Aug 20 last year.

This came after both parties reached a settlement at the High Court in Penang today.

Utusan Melayu is the printer, publisher and distributor of Utusan Malaysia.

In a consent judgment, the newspaper apologised for its article titled "Guan Eng tarik balik saman Shaik Hussein" (Guan Eng withdraws summons against Shaik Hussein).

It will also compensate Lim, with an amount that was not disclosed, for the article that Lim claimed was "distorted news".

Judicial Commissioner Azmi Abdullah presided over the consent judgment, while Lim was represented by Simon Murali.

Utusan Malaysia’s legal executive Siti Norzulaikah Ibrahim read out the public apology in court.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng withdrew the case filed against (then) state Umno Youth chief Shaik Hussein Mydin (photo) three years ago, after Shaik Hussein willingly and without conditions withdrew his allegation of corruption against Lim Guan Eng on Oct 5, 2012.

"We apologise to Lim Guan Eng for the inconvenience and confusion caused by the wrong facts on our part by publishing the original article," the apology note states.

On Oct 5, Shaik Hussein had alleged that Lim was corrupt over the Taman Manggis state land deal, which the CM had strongly denied.

Murali said the apology would be published on Page 2 of Utusan Malaysia, within seven days.

"Today is the first day of the hearing into the matter, but we have settled it," he added.

Lim said Utusan Malaysia had reported that he withdrew his defamation suit against Shaik Hussein without conditions.

"In actual fact, I did it only after he withdrew his allegations of corruption against me," Lim told reporters outside the court.

"When Shaik Hussein withdrew his allegations of corruption against me, it was not reported in Utusan Malaysia, so I am happy that I can clear my name and claims of corruption against me by the Umno leader.

"Because of their wrongful report, Utusan again apologised to me. At least I have got back some justice," Lim added.

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