Chong apologises to JC Fong, offers donation to school in libel suit settlement
4 month ago, 11-Sep-2020
Chong Chieng Jen – File photo
KUCHING: Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen has today reached an out of court settlement with state legal counsel Dato Sri JC Fong who had sued him for libel for remarks he made in 2017.
The Bandar Kuching MP and Kota Sentosa assemblyman apologised to Fong for his remarks, adding that his father, Chong Siew Chiang, who is also his lawyer, had offered to donate RM10,000 to St. Joseph Private School here.
When contacted for his reaction, Fong told The Borneo Post: “Friends arranged for settlement so I just moved on as Chong was willing to apologise in Court and donate money to St Joseph Private School as condition for setting case.
Fong is a board member of the school.
Chong, in a written submission delivered by his father today, told Sessions Court Judge Marutin Pagan that it was never his intention to defame Fong.
“Although it was never my intention to defame Dato Sri JC Fong or to cause him any distress or hurt or damage his reputation, I, for the sake of an amicable settlement out of court and the efforts of our mutual friends, I wish to unreservedly withdraw my statement and express my apologies for causing him harm and embarrassment,” Chong said in the submission.
“In light of the amicable settlement out of court and as we are members of the Sarawak Bar and to appreciate mutual friends great effort in reaching this settlement, my father, Chong Siew Chiang, offers to donate a sum of RM 10,000.00 to St. Joseph Private School.”
Fong and Chong were not present in court today. Fong was represented by Counsels Sim Hui Chuan, Lim Lip Sze and William Yeo, while Chong was represented by his father and Michael Kong.
Fong had filed the suit against Chong in December 2017 after Chong made the offending remark in August that year on Fongs representation of the state in regards to Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report during a court proceeding.
The words which Fong objected to were: the Sarawak BN Governments legal advisoryhad in August, 2017 submitted on behalf of the State Government in the Federal Court that MA63 and including the Malaysia Report of the Inter-Governmental Committee 1962 (IGC Report) had no legal force in Malaysia.
On the other hand, the State Government has repeatedly told Sarawakians that MA63 has the legal standing that is over and above the Federal Constitution.
However, on the other hand, the Sarawak Governments legal advisor, Datuk J.C. Fong while acting for the Sarawak State Government, told the Federal Court that the MA63 and the IGC Report has no legal force.
Yet to the surprise of everyone, the Sarawak State Governments lawyer in Federal Court openly denies that MA63 has any legal effect and support in the contravention of the provision in MA63.