|Tuesday, 23 October 2012 15:03|
KUALA LUMPUR: Former Selangor Menteri Besar Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo today apologized in open court to Selangor exco Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew in the settlement of a defamation suit against him over a newspaper article in which Dr Khir had implied that Liu was involved in prostitution activities.
The apology was read out by Dr Khir and recorded before Justice Datuk Nik Hasmat Nik Mohamad in the High Court here.
Dr Khir said he apologised to Liu, who is Pandamaran state assemblyman, for having caused to be published an article entitled "Khir Membongkarkan Laporan Polis Liu Tian Khiew Pernah Bercampur Tangan Dalam Urusan Menghapuskan Kegiatan Pelacuran" (Khir Exposes Police Report that Liu Tian Khiew Had Interfered in Activities to Eradicate Prostitution) in the China Press dated May 9, 2008.
He said the article referred to Liu as the individual who had obstructed officers of the Subang Jaya Municipal Council and the police in an operation to close down a hotel in Puchong which he had insinuated was a centre for prostitution.
Dr Khir said he also apologised to Liu for further insinuating that he was involved in such activities, which he added was totally untrue.
"I deeply regret for causing YB Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew severe distress as a result of publication of the said article. I hereby retract all statements made against him as evident in the said article, and I apologise to him unconditionally," he said.
The two men then shook hands after the proceedings.
Earlier, Liu's counsel Gobind Singh Deo told the court that a settlement had been reached in the case of his client whereby Dr Khir would apologise to Liu by reading out a statement of apology in open court.
Gobind said the statement of apology would be distributed to the media and sought to have the court impose no costs.
The two sides reached a settlement yesterday on the defamation suit filed in 2008 after agreeing to the terms.
On Oct 6, 2008, Liu sued Dr Khir after the latter allegedly defamed him by associating him with obstruction of efforts to eradicate prostitution activities.
Liu claimed that Dr Khir had caused a false and defamatory article to be published in China Press on May 9, 2008.
Meanwhile, Dr Khir, who was represented by M. Athimulan, declined to speak to reporters afterwards, saying everything had been said in court.
Liu said he accepted the apology made by Dr Khir although his reputation had been tarnished by the latter's statement in the published article.
"If we can forgive, we should just do that," Liu said.