Penang CM slapped with first-of-its-kind defamation suit by journalist

AUDREY DERMAWAN

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

In his statement of claim, Ong Beng Siang, 40, from Guang Ming Daily alleged that Lim, through his Facebook account, had slandered him in a posting.

Ong said the posting was also malicious and aimed at tarnishing his reputation and good name as a journalist in the eyes of the public.

In his Facebook posting, Lim had said that he knows of the existence of a journalist who is out to paint the state government in a bad light.

He had also posted that if the journalist wants to overthrow the state government, he should use facts and not publish baseless reports.

Lim's posting followed an article written by Ong.

Ong also alleged that Lim's posting had painted him as someone unprofessional, unethical in carrying out his profession, immoral, dishonest, someone untrustworthy and as someone unprincipled, among others.

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

He is also asking the court for an injunction to prevent Lim and any of his agents from repeating the slander against him.

Met after filing the suit, Ong said he was doing it for three main reasons.

"I want to clear my name. I also want to protect my reputation.

"And more importantly, I want to protect the reputation of (all) other journalists," he added.