Re­porter sues Guan Eng for defama­tion

New Straits Times - - News -

GE­ORGE TOWN: In what may be the first case of its kind, a se­nior jour­nal­ist of Guang Ming Daily filed a defama­tion suit against Pe­nang Chief Min­is­ter Lim Guan Eng yes­ter­day.

Ong Beng Siang, 40, who has 23 years of ex­pe­ri­ence as a jour­nal­ist, sued Lim in his per­sonal ca­pac­ity.

Speak­ing after fil­ing his suit at the High Court Regis­trar here, Ong, ac­com­pa­nied by his coun­sel, Datuk Baljit Singh, said there were three main rea­sons that prompted his ac­tion.

“I want to clear my name and de­fend my rep­u­ta­tion. More im­por­tantly, I want to de­fend the rep­u­ta­tion of

(all) jour­nal­ists.”

In his state­ment of claim,

Ong, who has won awa rd s and recog­ni­tion through­out his ca­reer, claimed Lim had al­legedly slan­dered him fol­low­ing his re­port on a land-re­lated is­sue that in­volved a Chi­nese school, in a Face­book post un­der the ac­count of CM Lim Guan Eng.

In the Face­book post, dated Jan 22, Lim had al­legedly said he knew of the ex­is­tence of jour­nal­ists who were out to paint the state govern­ment in a bad light. He had al­legedly said if such jour­nal­ists wanted to over­throw the state govern­ment, they should use facts and not pub­lish base­less re­ports.

Lim had also al­legedly ques­tioned Ong’s jour­nal­is­tic ethics.

In his state­ment of claim, Ong said the post was ma­li­cious and aimed at tar­nish­ing his rep­u­ta­tion and good name as a jour­nal­ist in the eyes of the pub­lic.

Ong said the post made him look un­pro­fes­sional and un­eth­i­cal in car­ry­ing out his pro­fes­sion and be­ing im­moral, dis­hon­est, un­trust­wor­thy and un­prin­ci­pled.

He is de­mand­ing for an apol­ogy from Lim, as well as gen­eral, ex­em­plary and ag­gra­vated dam­ages.

Ong Beng Siang

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