KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 – Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak today withdrew his defamation suit filed against former Transport Minister Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik over the publication of an article in a news portal which alleged the former prime minister abused funds belonging 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
Counsel Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun who is representing Najib told reporters after a case management in the chambers of High Court judicial commissioner Darryl Goon Siew Chye who later recorded the joint agreement to drop the suit. Also present at the proceeding was Ranjit Singh who is representing Dr Ling.
Asked by reporters on the reasons to withdraw the suit, Mohd Hafarizam said he had advised his client to drop the suit following a change in the political landscape of the country and there were other more important matters to attend to. Meanwhile, Ranjit said the court had cancelled Najib’s suit without the liberty to refile the suit and the court also ordered the former prime minister to pay RM25,000 as cost.
Ranjit said his client (Dr Ling) also withdrew his counter-claim filed against Najib on Dec 14, 2015, without the liberty of the former MCA president to refile the suit. On Oct 27 2015, Najib in his personal capacity filed a suit against Dr Ling after alleging the former Transport Minister of making slanderous statements against him in an article published in a new portal on Oct 3, 2015.
In his statement of claim, Najib said Dr Ling had falsely and maliciously issued a defamatory statement at a Tunku Abdul Rahman University College function here by alleging he (Najib) had abused public funds for his personal interest.
On July 18 2016, the court allowed an application by Najib to set aside Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad ‘s affidavit in support of Dr Ling to strike out the suit. On March 16 this year, the High Court here rejected an application by Dr Ling to cancel the suit filed by Najib. — Bernama