English World

Dr Ling applies to strike out Najib’s libel suit

KUALA LUMPUR: Former transport minister Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik is applying to strike out a libel suit filed by the Prime Minister against him.

His lawyer Gregory Ling said that they filed the application to strike out the suit on grounds that it had no reasonable cause of action and an abuse of the court process.

“My client takes the position that there are other people who are more vocal than him,” Gregory said here Thursday.

He said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had also filed an affidavit to support their striking out application.

The court has set March 31 for further case management.

On Jan 11, the suit had been referred for mediation to find a possible settlement. The matter has not been decided.

Dr Ling counter-sued Najib over his libel suit on Dec 14, saying that the Prime Minister did not pursue any action for defamation against others including Umno leaders who had repeatedly criticised his conduct and integrity on various occasions.

The Prime Minister was suing Dr Ling over his remarks which allegedly implied that he had misused public fund for his personal interests.

In his suit, Najib said that an online news portal had on Oct 3 published an article saying Dr Ling had made slanderous statements against him while attending a ceremony at Tunku Abdul Rahman University College.

In his statement of claim filed on Oct 27, Najib was seeking damages and an injunction to restrain Dr Ling from further speaking or publishing or causing to be published any similar defamatory words against him.

The premier was also asking for an order that Dr Ling publish a written apology in newspaper or magazines to be identified by him.

In his statement of defence, Dr Ling said the civil claim was frivolous and vexatious and denied all allegations against him.

Dr Ling said Najib admitted RM2.6bil was indeed transferred into his personal bank account, and relied on the defence of fair comment and qualified privilege over his remarks.

He also denied tarnishing Najib’s reputation. -Thestar

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