Chegu Bard Will Withdraw RM5 Million Claim, Although Utusan Withdraws Defamation


SHAH ALAM, 15 Mac: Chief Coordinator of Youth Solidarity Malaysia (SAMM), Badrul Hisham Shaharin or Chegu Bard will still continue compensation claims of RM5 million from the pro-Umno newspaper Utusan Malaysia (Utusan).

The decision was taken despite Utusan’s decision to withdraw the article ‘Medan Perah Duit Rakyat’ (a Place to Squeeze The People’s Money) from its news portal yesterday.

According to Badrul Hisham, the claim will be pursued because Utusan did not publish an apology for three consecutive days and pay a compensation.

The notice for the claim was issued by Messrs Zasali & Lim and was made against the article titled ‘Medan Perah Duit Rakyat’ which was published on the Utusan Online portal on 14 January 2013.

However from checks made by TV Selangor yesterday found that the article was not withdrawn due to reasons that are believed to be linked with the claim by Chegu Bard.

Earlier, according to a statement made by Chegu Bard, a notice of the claim was received by the Chief Editor of the said newspaper at the Utusan Malaysia office in Cheras at 3.00pm yesterday.

“Excerpts from the article were not only false, but it was a manipulation and distortions that intended to slander Chegu Bard ans also SAMM.

“The notice also named two respondents, the Chief Editor of Utusan as the first respondent and also Mohd Asron Mustapha, who is also the writer of the article, as the second respondent,” said Chegu Bard, quoted from his press statement.

In addition to claiming compensation for damages of RM5 million, Chegu Bard also demanded for Utusan to make a written apology in the Utusan Malaysia print version and on the front page for the online version for three consecutive days.

In the claim, Utusan was also forbidden to write or to publish the same or defamatory writing on Chegu Bard and SAMM, and ask for the article to be withdrawn from the portal.

Utusan is the only newspaper that is most frequently sued by several local politicians.

Previously, the Penang High Court ordered Utusan to pay a compensation of RM200,000 and a cost of RM25,000 to the Chief Minister of Penang, Lim Guan Eng, regarding an article titled ‘Kebiadaban Guan Eng’ (Guan Eng’s Barbarism) which was published on 20 December 2010.

Additionally, Utusan also lost in a defamation suit of RM50 million which was filed by PKR De Facto Leader, Dtuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The newspaper also lost in a defamation trial by the former Chief Minister of Perk, Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin and Seputeh Member of Parliament, Teresa Kok.

In 2009, Utusan also lost a defamation suit made by Shah Alam Member of Parliament, Khalid Samad on the issue of “Pak Janggut” (Mr. Beard).

However, when the article was written, the court had yet to decide the amount of compensation which should be paid by Utusan to several political leaders involved.

Utusan also lost in its an attempt to quash the defamation suit by former Deputy President of the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR – People’s Justice Party), Syed Hussin Ali, who also claimed damaged amounting to RM10 million.

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