Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah strikes back. In an article on 24 August 2006, the NST planted a line about the "fact" that Raja Kamarul Bahrin had taken another wife two weeks - yes, TWO WEEKS! - after his second child, with his then wife Jacquelin, was born.
Now, what would you think of a man who would do such a thing to his wife?
Exactly my sentiments. Those who were familiar with his celebrated custody battle for his two children in Australia and his subsequent daring rescue of the kids, after reading this article, were likely to change the way they look at Raja Bahrin. I mean, only a jerk would do such a thing, right?
But that line NST inserted in the article was a LIE. It is NOT a fact.
Raja Bahrin sent a letter of demand to get NST to print a front-page apology, to disclose the source of the lie, and to pay RM1 million. [I was told that in the letter of demand, Raja Bahrin said the money will be channeled to an institute to run training courses to produce good and ethical journalists].
NST sent two top officials, accompanied by a lawyer, to meet Raja Bahrin. On 20 Sept 2006, the tabloid published an apology.
But it was an apology-that's-not-an-apology. [Remember Lee Kuan Yew's "apology"?]
NST, under the former Singapore Straits Times operatives Kalimullah Hassan-Brendan Pereira regime, has gotten away with such an apology, as in the case of the Prophet Muhammad caricature's case. It has even gotten away, so far, by refusing to apologise for an outright lie in the case of the June 11 article by Kalimullah Hassan on the meeting between PM and Dr M in Tokyo.
Not this time.
Brendan Pereira, the NST group editor, has been named as the defendant in the defamation suit filed by Raja Bahrin about 2.30pm today at the High Court in Kuala Terengganu. Hishamuddin Aun, the GEIC for NSTP, has been named as co-defendant.
Raja Bahrin is seeking RM1 million in general damages as well as aggravated and exemplary damages to be determined by the court.
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