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    Jan 12, 2016

    Najib's suit against ex-MCA chief to go for mediation


    THE Kuala Lumpur High Court has proposed that Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak's defamation suit against former Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) president Ling Liong Sik be resolved through mediation, the Malaysian media reported.

    Mr Ling has accepted the offer and would try to reach an out-of-court settlement, the Chinese-language See Hua daily reported.

    Mr Najib's lawyer, Hafarizam Harun, told the Malay Mail online newspaper that it was the court that ordered the mediation, failing which both parties would return to litigation.

    "It's not that we're settling. The judge directed that this matter go for mediation so we're adhering to the judge's direction," Mr Hafarizam added.

    But Malaysian netizens wondered if Mr Najib is again avoiding giving evidence in public to support his claim that he had not misappropriated state money.

    Mr Najib had filed the suit in October against Dr Ling after the former transport minister called him unfit to lead Malaysia due to his "wrongful conduct" in receiving RM2.6 billion (S$850 million) into his personal bank accounts.

    Dr Ling was echoing the view of former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad on Mr Najib in making the remark.

    In his statement of defence, Dr Ling said Mr Najib was abusing the civil process as he did not pursue any defamation action against others - including Dr Mahathir and foreign journalists - who have repeatedly criticised his conduct and integrity on various occasions.