The settlement was recorded before Justice Nik Hasmat Nik Mohamad.
Khir made the open apology in court by reading out a prepared statement in English and then Bahasa Malaysia.
Khir said he hereby apologises to the Pandamaran assemblyperson and state exco member following an article titled 'Khir membongkarkan lapuran polis Liu Tian Khiew pernah bercampur tangan dalam urusan menghapuskan kegiatan pelacuran (Khir divulges a police report, that Liu had intervened in a vice eradication matter)'.
The article was published in the China Press dated May 5, 2008.
"In the article, I had implied that Liu (centre in photo) had obstructed the officers of the Subang Jaya Municipal Council and the police in closing down a hotel in Puchong which I insinuated was a centre for prostitution activities.
"I apologise to Liu for further insinuating that he was involved in such activities, which is totally untrue. I deeply regret for causing Liu severe distress as a result of the publication of the said article and hereby retract all statements made against him and apologise unconditionally," said Khir.
Gobind Singh Deo, who appeared for Liu, announced the settlement and applied for no order as to costs, to which Justice Nik Hasmat assented.
After the statement was read out and after the court proceedings, Khir shook hands with Liu. Khir was represented by M Athimulan.
Suit filed in 2008
Liu filed the defamation suit on October 2008, based on what the former Selangor MB said at a press conference. Liu in the writ of summons said Khir had accused him of obstructing an anti-vice raid on a hotel in November 2007, and further questioned whether Liu was qualified to be an exco member in charge of local government affairs.
The plaintiff also said that even without naming him, Khir had mentioned the exco member in charge of local government affairs.
Khir’s statements implied that Liu was immoral, deliberately obstructed the authorities from carrying out their duties to clamp down on vice activities in Puchong, and was not qualified to be a state exco member.
Khir in his defence denied uttering the defamatory statements and claimed his statement was made based on facts and was done in the national interest. He denied that he had said it with bad intent.
Liu, in commenting on the settlement, said there is a Chinese proverb stating that when someone apologises, we should accept.
“As politicians we only have our reputation to safeguard. Khir’s apology is a good sign as he made the first step to do so before the start of the trial. Hence, when the offer (of apology) came, I accept it,” said the Selangor exco member.
He added that while it is all right to criticise politicians, it is not correct to defame them. Any arguments, Liu said, should be made based on facts.
“There must not be any ill-intent to the statements made.”