The Penang High Court today dismissed a defamation suit by Finance Minister cum DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng against Gerakan’s Jason Loo and two Chinese dailies.
Lim, who was Penang's former Chief Minister, was ordered to pay RM150,000 in costs to them.
Loo, China Press Berhad and Guang Ming Ribao Sdn Bhd was sued over two articles questioning the sale of Peel Avenue state land to a private hospital in 2017.
In her judgement today, Justice Rosilah Yop, ruled that the defamation suit was dismissed after a translator admitted that the articles which were deemed defamatory were not translated to Lim in verbatim.
The translator, a prosecution’s witness, also admitted to having used the online version of the articles and not the print edition, Rosilah said.
She added, the articles tendered in court, as per requirement, should have been translated into Malay.
“The national language should have been used in all translations in court," Rosilah said.
“The witness has admitted using her own words in translating the text, which appears to be taken from a different source.
“Taking into account these factors, I find the prosecution’s case to be flawed and broken,” she said.
After the decision, Loo (above), when met outside the court room said the decision by the court was a "big win" for all Penangites.
“One lone ranger like me is not enough. All Penangites must practice check and balance of the present government,” he said.
Lim’s lawyer Murelidharan Navaratnam said his client might appeal against the case.
The contentious article in China Press titled: “Jason Loo: One man decides, Pakatan Harapan DAP-led state government run by rule of one man” was published on May 29, 2017.
Guang Ming Ribao published the article “Jason Loo urges Lim Guan Eng to explain why Peel Avenue land was sold prior to gazette” on May 29, 2017.
Loo represented himself in the case, while all three cases were heard together in trial.