KUALA LUMPUR, 29 April 2009: The High Court has fixed 2 July for case management of Bukit Gelugor member of parliament Karpal Singh’s RM10 million suit against Utusan Melayu (M) Sdn Bhd over a defamatory article on his comments on Islam.
Deputy Registrar Nazri Ibrahim fixed the date after the case came up before him in chambers today.
Lawyer Nicholas Netto appeared for Karpal and M Mohana Kumar for Utusan Melayu.
In his statement of claim, Karpal, who is also a lawyer, claimed the article entitled DAP diingat jangan bakar perasaan Melayu (DAP reminded not to inflame sentiments of Malays) published on 25 Aug last year, stated that he made the comments on Islam in his welcoming speech at the 15th DAP National Congress held on the previous day (24 Aug last year).
Karpal claimed that the defamatory words were understood to mean, among others, that he was a politician bent on creating ill-will among the different communities in the country, were absolutely false and malicious, and were intended to destroy his professional and political careers.
The DAP national chairperson said he had consistently maintained in his public speeches and during his membership of Parliament in the Dewan Rakyat for the last 26 years that Islam was the official religion of the country as provided under Article 3 (1) of the Federal Constitution.
He sought RM10 million in general damages, aggravated damages, exemplary damages, interest, costs and any relief deemed proper by the court.
In its statement of defence filed on 3 Nov last year, Utusan Melayu said the apology published in its newspaper was accepted by Karpal as fulfilling his (Karpal’s) letter of demand.
Utusan Melayu claimed that the words complained by Karpal were stated in the article as a result of a misunderstanding/confusion and that it was an honest mistake.
It claimed that the article was published in good faith and was bona fide without any malice towards Karpal. — Bernama