GEORGE TOWN, Nov 29 – Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and Deputy Chief Minister II Prof Dr P. Ramasamy were awarded RM50,000 in damages each after winning a defamation suit against former Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) national advisor N. Ganesan.
The suit was filed by Guan Eng and Ramasamy over a claim that they had sent thugs to interrupt a meeting attended by Ganesan, who is also an NGO member, at a meeting four years ago. Justice Datuk Lim Chong Fong made the decision after allowing Guan Eng and Ramasamy’s suit as plaintiffs as he found there were elements of defamation involved in the claim.
In his judgement, Lim said the defendant also failed to prove the validity of the allegations he made during a press conference held on Dec 4, 2013. The judge said the defendant’s excuse that the press conference was held in public interest was also unacceptable, as the plaintiffs had already filed a police report over the matter.
“The court finds that the defendant should have given the police a chance to investigate and conduct the investigation first. However, the defendant held a press conference first, and made the accusations before the police had completed their investigation,” he said. The court also ordered Ganesan to pay costs totalling RM25,000. The suit was filed by Guan Eng and Ramasamy in 2015.
In a press conference held by the ‘Concerned Citizens of the Indian Community’ on Dec 4, 2013, over the issue of a crematorium along Lorong Batu Lanchang, the defendant claimed the plaintiffs had sent thugs to interrupt a meeting which he had attended on Nov 30. Guan Eng and Ramasamy were represented by counsel Simon Murali and Kok Yuen Lin, while Ganesan by counsel S. Tilaga and Yokinee Selvam. — Bernama