NGEH KOO HAM IS FOR FREEDOM OF PRESS BUT NOT THE FREEDOM TO SPREAD FALSEHOOD. NGEH TO TAKE LEGAL ACTION AGAINST NEW SUNDAY TIMES AND REPORTER FOR REPORTING FALSE NEWS.
I have today instructed my lawyers to take legal action against Sylvia Looi Lee Phing and the News Sunday Times as no apology or correction was forthcoming from them with regard to a defamatory article titled ‘DAP is danger of losing Beruas’ written by Slyvia Looi and published by the New Sunday Times on 25/11/2012.
The said article contain many falsehoods which include the following:-
(i) I hardly show up in my Beruas Constituency (I stay in the Beruas Constituency and am in the Constituency almost everyday).
(ii) I was chased away by villagers when I visited an India Estate.
(iii) I do not attend religious events organized by temples.
The said article greatly damages my reputation as the Member of Parliament for Beruas.
They have presented me as a irresponsible Member of Parliament who does not visit my Parliamentary Constituency, does not care for my constituents and that I am a religious bigot.
I have lodged a police report against them on 20the December 2012 as they have committed an offence under Section 8A (Offence to publish false news) of the Printing Presses and Publication Act 1984 and Section 499 (Criminal Defamation) of the Penal Code.
Section 8A of the PPPA 1984 requires that the writer and the New Sunday Times to take reasonable measures to verify the truth before writing the said article.
I am in full support of press freedom but not the freedom to report false news. Media has the responsibility take reasonable measures to verify the truth of a matter before publishing it as it will cause great damage to the person(s) who is/are wrongly accused.
I felt duty bound to lodge the above said report and to take legal action against Sylvia Looi and the New Sunday Times to ensure that the public is fed with truth and not falsehood.
Dated this 16th day of January 2013.
NGEH KOO HAM
MP FOR BERUAS &
STATE ASSEMBLYMAN FOR SITIAWAN