Former Inspector-General of Police Tun Mohammed Hanif Omar has been instructed to file his defence in a suit brought by DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang over a speech at a convention two months ago.
After meeting High Court deputy registrar Siti Norhidayah Mohd Noor in chambers on Wednesday, Hanif’s counsel Datuk Shaharudin Ali told reporters the court ordered his client to file his defence and counter-claim by Dec 5.
Shaharudin said Lim was instructed to file his reply by Dec 19.
“The court fixed Dec 20 as the next case management,” he said.
In his statement of claim filed on Oct 17, Lim had named Hanif as the sole defendant.
Lim filed the suit against Hanif over remarks uttered at the Konvensyen Karamah Bangsa (Convention on Uplifting the Malay Race) in Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) at Shah Alam on Sept 6 and which were published by Malay daily Sinar Harian titled, “Tun Hanif buat pendedahan DAP, PAS (Tun Hanif makes revelation about DAP, PAS)”, the same day.
Lim, who is Iskandar Puteri MP, alleged that the defendant had wrongly and maliciously caused the words to be published at Malaysiakini and Free Malaysia Today on Sept 6 and the following day.
Lim claimed that the words said at the convention meant that he was unethical and unprofessional, a criminal and that he was responsible in calling for the split of the country between Malays and Chinese, where the east coast would be for the former and the west coast for the latter.
The words also meant that Lim was not qualified to be an MP, that he was a racist, and had caused racial instability and unrest.
Hanif reportedly said this was why he had detained Lim under the Internal Security Act (ISA) after the 1969 general election.
Lim, however, dismissed Hanif’s claims, calling them “cock-and-bull stories about (Hanif’s) past police career” which were “replete with errors”.
In his suit, he said his reputation had been tarnished by Hanif’s allegations, which had also caused him to be condemned by the public.
He is seeking damages, an apology from Hanif as well as an injunction against Hanif from repeating the statement.
Lim was represented by lawyer Harshaan Zamani.