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Utusan Melayu apologises to finance minister for alleged defamatory article

Utusan Melayu and senior news editor Zulkifli Jalil apologised to finance minister Lim Guan Eng for an alleged defamatory article published in 2015. The High Court also ordered the newspaper to publish an apology to the finance minister.

Titled “Pengundi Atas Pagar Jadi Penentu?”, the article claimed that the former chief minister of Penang, had full authority over wakaf land and how they would be developed, multiple media reports, including the New Straits Times and The Edge Malaysia, reported.

This was as opposed to the said land being managed and developed by the state Islamic Council during Barisan Nasional’s rule in Penang. Zulkifli Jalil “sincerely apologised” for the mistakes and the “hardship and disgrace” Lim experienced, adding that he regrets that the article has caused “discomfort”. Media reports also stated that the newspaper admits to the factual mistakes in the article and that Utusan Melayu will withdraw the defamatory statements made.

A+M has reached out to Utusan Melayu for comment.

This comes after NST was ordered by the High Court to pay RM130,000 in damages and costs to Lim for two supposedly defamatory articles published earlier in 2018. NST was also ordered to publish an “unconditional apology” in New Sunday Times.

Earlier this year, the newspaper saw several senior exits, with group managing director Mohd Noordin Bin Abbas and group editor-in-chief Abdul Aziz Ishak resigning from the company. Several board members also resigned as part of an overall restructure at the group.

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