Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy has withdrawn his RM10 million lawsuit against a journalist with The Star and the daily's publisher Star Publications (M) Bhd over a defamation suit filed earlier this year.

Ramasamy had filed the suit in February, over two articles published by the newspaper last year.

The settlement was announced by his lawyer A Sivanesan, who told the High Court that both parties have agreed not to disclose the terms of the settlement.

“The parties have agreed to resolve the matter, with terms of settlement being private and confidential and not to be disclosed by both parties.

“The suit is hereby withdrawn unconditionally with no order as to costs,” said Sivanesan.

Appearing with Sivanesan was R Kenghadaran.

The matter was confirmed by Bhag Singh, the lawyer acting for the MCA-owned daily, and the settlement was recorded by High Court judge VT Singham, who then struck out the suit.

Before recording the settlement, Justice Singham asked Ramasamy whether this was agreed as the Penang DCM II had filed the suit in his personal capacity.

To this, Ramasamy concurred that he had consulted with his lawyers and consented to the settlement.

Justice Singham then struck out the suit and made no order as to costs.

'In bad faith' 

Ramasamy declined to comment further when asked outside the court, saying it had already been settled. DAP chairperson Karpal Singh then met Ramasamy outside court.

The case was originally slated for a two-day trial beginning today with two reporters from Malaysiakini - Susan Loone and Low Chia Ming - slated to testify along with other reporters based in Penang.

Earlier, today Sivanesan told reporters that the parties may agree to settle the matter but there were some terms pending.

Ramasamy, who is also Batu Kawan MP named journalist Ian McIntyre and the newspaper publisher as first and second defendants and sought RM5 million each from both of them.

NONEHe claimed that on Dec 21, McIntyre had interviewed him at his office in Komtar, Penang and the daily had published the article "Distress in DAP Continues' on Dec 23, which the Penang DCM claims was done in bad faith.

Ramasamy (right in pic), a former lecturer at a local university, claimed the article was defamatory and painted a picture that the DAP leaders were abusive of their power and positions, corrupt, and incompetent.

Ramasamy held another press conference denying the report.

However, the MCA owned daily published another article 'What
Ramasamy said in the interview' which was published later.

The second article, he claimed, implied that he was dishonest, a hypocrite, immoral, and unfit for any post.

The Penang DCM had asked the daily to apologise but claimed that the defendant had failed to do so.
Ramasamy said the publication of the two articles affected his position as a DAP leader, and also his reputation, and that he had been brought into public scandal, ridicule and contempt as a result of this.