The High Court’s decision today which had regrettably dismissed my and Deputy Chief Minister II, YB Prof Ramasamy’s defamation suit against New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Berhad and another (23NCVC-15-12/2013), has left us most appalled.(e/c)

Press Statement by the Chief Minister of Penang, YAB Lim Guan Eng in George Town on 16.11.2015

The High Court’s decision today which had regrettably dismissed my and Deputy Chief Minister II, YB Prof Ramasamy’s defamation suit against New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Berhad and another (23NCVC-15-12/2013), has left us most appalled.

With the greatest respect to the Judge, this decision marks a new and unprecedented chapter in the defamation laws as applied in Malaysia. Contrary to existing case law, it appears that journalists, wherever they may come from, are now able to write anything and having the same published without the need for prior verification on the facts involved from affected parties.

I cannot see how mere reporting without any need to verify the facts and truth can be construed as responsible journalism. Such absence of restraint will only lead to false and scandalous reporting in complete disregard of the truth. The present legal position is that there must be verification to ensure that there is truthful reporting. As such, to uphold our contention and the present legal position that prior verification of the facts is required.

Bear in mind that if we had known that no prior verification of the facts are required, both Prof Ramasamy and myself would not have filed any defamation suits as there would be no defamation laws in Malaysia. Both the DCM II and I have instructed our solicitors to file the Notice of Appeal against the entire decision.

LIM GUAN ENG

槟州首席部长林冠英于2015年11月16日在槟城乔治市发表的声明:

槟城高等法庭今日遗憾地驳回我本人及槟州第二副首席部长拉玛沙米教授起诉《马来西亚新海峡时报》及另一人的诽谤案,让我们感到震惊。

我完全尊重法官,但是,这项判决在马来西亚诽谤诉讼法上,创下了史无前列的新章。这与现有的法律个案完全相反。看来不管是来自哪里的记者,现在可以自由地写任何东西,并可以在未向受影响的一方作出资料求证之前,即可将他所写的内容给刊登出来。

我看不出在无需确认事实和真相,就直接单纯地报导出来,可以被解释为是“负责任的新闻报导”。这种缺乏约束的情况,只会导致更多完全不顾事实真相的虚假和诽谤性报导。就目前法律的立场是,为确保报道的真实性,报道之前需求证以确认事实。因此,我们坚持我们的观点及目前的法律地位,即报道前事先对事实作出验证是有必要的。

必需紧记的是,若无需就事实求证,那等于马来西亚根本没有诽谤法,而我及拉玛沙米教授根本就不会提出诽谤诉讼。我俩将会指示代表律师,就此案的判决作出上诉。

林冠英

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