High Court advises Guan Eng and Muhyiddin to explore mediation in resolving defamation suit

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4 — The High Court has today advised both Lim Guan Eng and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to consider mediation as a possible case resolution to the defamation suit filed by the DAP national chairman.

Judicial Commissioner Roz Mawar Rozain, who is the presiding judge, wanted both parties to explore said alternative prior to commencement of trial which has been fixed from July 15 to July 19, 2024.

“The Judge also broached the idea of mediation with a view of settling the case,” lawyer Guok Ngek Seong who is representing Lim told Malay Mail after case management earlier this morning.

In general, mediation is an alternative case resolution without going through a full trial process, with agreement to a settlement being reached voluntarily under the supervision of mediators composed of judges or judicial officers.

Guok said Roz Mawar also asked for parties to inform the court whether they were agreeable to mediate prior to the next case management which has been fixed for December 7, roughly two months from now.

Lawyer Chetan Jethwani appeared for Muhyiddin.

Lim, who is Bagan MP, is suing Muhyiddin for defamation over the latter’s statements in March accusing him of cancelling tax exemptions for Yayasan Albukhary when he was finance minister.

Muhyiddin’s remarks had alleged that Lim had, back then as the finance minister, been involved in the previous Pakatan Harapan government’s purported cancellation of the tax exemption status for charitable organisation Yayasan Albukhary, which was said to carry out work helping Muslims.

In the present lawsuit, Lim wants Muhyiddin to retract his statement, remove all those statements from his social media accounts, and make a public apology to him for those comments.

The former finance minister also wants the court to issue an injunction on Muhyiddin or his team barring them from making further comments on the matter.

The public apology must be published in all newspapers in Malaysia within seven days from the day of the judgement.

Both Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the Finance Ministry have since clarified Lim did not cancel the approved tax exemption given to Yayasan Albukhary.

Nevertheless, Muhyiddin in his statement of defence demanded that Lim prove that he had not revoked the organisation’s tax-exempt status and claimed to have received a letter from Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary appealing against the IRB’s decision not to grant tax exemption to the organisation.