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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 11, 2016:

The Kuala Lumpur High Court has advised Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and former MCA president Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik to settle a defamation suit via mediation.

Lawyer Datuk Hafarizam Wan Harun who appeared for Najib told reporters that the court had referred the matter to the court mediation centre.

“The parties have agreed to go through the mediation centre,” he said after emerging from the chambers following a case management before High Court judge Justice John Louis O’Hara.

Hafarizam further added the judge had given directions that the plaintiff had to file any interlocutory applications including a striking out application, within two weeks from today.

“We will have to file our reply to their defence statement and counterclaims by tomorrow.

“Upon filing, we will go through the mediation process and if it fails, we will have to come back to inform the judge,” he said.

The court had set Feb 18 for the next case management.

Najib filed the defamation suit against Ling in Kuala Lumpur High Court on Oct 27 last year.

The Prime Minister was seeking for general, aggravated and exemplary damages in the suit.

The matter ensued after the former MCA president made an allegedly defamatory statement on Oct 3, 2015, that was published in an English portal titled “MCA’s Liong Sik joins call for Najib’s ouster for allegedly putting people’s money in his own pocket”.

Ling, however, refused to bow down and instead, in a statement explained that he would defend himself and said “see you in court” to the Prime Minster.

On Dec 14 last year, the former Transport Minister filed a counterclaim against Najib in the defamation suit.

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