Bersih is discontinuing its defamation suit against the New Straits Times after it agreed to apologise for linking the coalition and three others to a “plot to destabilise government”.
The New Straits Times has apologised in open court for their false and baseless article published on 21 September 2012 in their daily newspaper and online newsportal thus bringing to an end the defamation suits brought against them by Bersih 2.0, Suaram, the Centre for Independent Journalism and the Merdeka Centre (the plaintiffs). They will also pay our legal costs. We want to appreciate the support and advice of our legal teams and thank them for their hard work.
Bersih 2.0, Suaram, the Centre for Independent Journalism and the Merdeka Centre have never been about destabilising or overthrowing through any means the government of Malaysia or to bring down Malaysia’s economy. Instead, they are and continue to be about the struggle of the Malaysian people to bring about real political change through clean, free and fair elections, transparency and accountability. Today’s settlement is a vindication of our position and a victory for the rakyat.
One of the fundamental features of the plaintiffs has always been to support the Federal Constitution, through the honouring of the spirit of its provisions. This is why we have called for a strengthening of institutions including the press, that are charged with the duty and responsibility of ensuring clean, free and fair elections, and a strong and vibrant democracy.
A vibrant and free press that reports with integrity is key to achieving our goals for a strong democracy. Anything less must be condemned to the fullest extent as a betrayal of a sacred duty to the rakyat to report fairly and objectively.
Today, truth has prevailed over lies. It always will, ultimately. However, the fight for the truth has not ended and will not end until the changes that we are struggling for are implemented in a full and proper manner. All of us throughout Malaysia must continue to work to achieve these aims.”
Bersih 2.0 Steering Committee
Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0)
Centre for Independent Journalism
Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram)