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Bersih sues NST for defamation


KUALA LUMPUR: The Bersih coalition today filed a defamation suit against the New Straits Times Press and its journalist Farrah Naz Karim over an article that it said had defamed them.

The article under the heading, ‘A plot to overthrow government’ was published by the daily on Sept 21 last year accusing the reform group of conspiring in a plot to overthrow the government.

It said that Bersih and 11 other organisations are being investigated by the authorities over the plot.

Among the organisations named in the article were Malaysiakini, Centre for Independent Journalism, legal and human rights NGO Loyar Burok and opinion pollsters, Merdeka Centre.

“The NST made false accusations against Bersih. We had asked them for a retraction and an apology but they did not comply.

bersih-files-suit“They did not even bother to contact us to fact check the content of the article,” said Bersih steering committee member, Andrew Khoo.

Khoo was speaking to reporters after Bersih’s counsel, Daniel J Albert, filed the suit at the Jalan Duta Court Complex this morning.

Khoo was accompanied fellow steering committee members G Arul Prakkash and Ahmad Farouk Musa.

When asked about the delay in filing the suit, Khoo said: “We looked at the situation in the country. We studied it and had no choice but to file a lawsuit against the newspaper.”

Daniel said his clients are seeking a retraction of the said article, an unspecified amount in damages and an injunction to prevent NST from publishing any more defamatory articles.