NST compelled to pay RM450,000 in Penang defamation lawsuit

GEORGE TOWN: The New Straits Times (NST) has withdrawn its application for leave to appeal, in a defamation lawsuit involving Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and his Deputy Chief Minister II P. Ramasamy.

According to the chief minister's special legal officer Raja Syarafina Raja Shuib, NST will have to pay Lim and Ramasamy RM200,000 each, as well as RM50,000 for legal costs.

"NST withdrew its appeal on Aug 29," she said during a press conference at Komtar yesterday.

Lim and Ramasamy had filed a defamation suit against NST and Predeep Nambiar, a journalist with the newspaper, over an article titled "Indian-interest group claims thugs interrupted meeting" on Dec 4, 2013.

On Sept 6 of last year, the Court of Appeal had unanimously set aside the earlier High Court decision, which dismissed Lim and Ramasamy's defamation suit against the defendants.

Raja Syarafina said the decision by the Court of Appeal highlighted that the words used in the article had exposed Lim and Ramasamy to ridicule and hatred, and that it was a necessity for NST to get a response and verification before publishing the article.