KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Datuk M. Saravanan and ex-MIC president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel have amicably settled a defamation suit over allegations linked to the New Affirmative Action Movement (NAAM).
Saravanan was all smiles outside the High Court here this morning following the breakthrough achieved in the chambers of judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Abdul Wahab.
According to a copy of the single-page Statement of Retraction, Palanivel unconditionally retracted his defamatory statement, expressed regret and apologised.
Saravanan, who is also MIC vice-president, said he was willing to forgive Palanivel as the latter may have misspoken (“terlepas cakap”) in his (Palanivel) capacity as politician.
“I am very sympathetic towards Datuk Palanivel,” said Saravanan in light of the former MIC president having served the party for over 40 years.
Saravanan however said he is maintaining his lawsuit against co-defendant City Team Media Sdn Bhd, the publisher of vernacular daily Tamil Malar.
On June 21 last year, Tamil Malar published an article carrying Palanivel’s defamatory statement. In response, Saravanan filed the suit on July 30 the same year.
Saravanan explained that newspapers carry a heavier responsibility compared to politicians as readers can be swayed by news articles.
“They (newspapers) must print the truth,” emphasized Saravanan, adding that he wanted to see how the publisher proposed to resolve the legal action.
Saravanan’s counsel V. Premshangar added that the court had fixed May 3 for case management of the suit.
Palanivel, who was not present at court, was represented by counsel R. Thayalan.-NST