KUALA LUMPUR - Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik is counter-suing Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak over his libel suit against the former Cabinet minister.
Citing an alleged abuse of civil process, Dr Ling said Najib did not pursue any action for defamation against others including Umno leaders who have repeatedly criticised his conduct and integrity on various occasions.
In his court papers, Dr Ling said he had suffered losses and was claiming damages, interests, costs and further relief deemed fit by the court.
His lead counsel Ranjit Singh said the suit was filed at the High Court civil registry Monday.
Najib's lead counsel Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun confirmed that they have received a copy of the statement of defence with the counter-claim on the same day.
The Prime Minister was suing Dr Ling over his remarks which allegedly implied that he had misused public fund for his personal interests.
In his suit, Najib said that an online news portal had on Oct 3 published an article saying Dr Ling had made slanderous statements against him while attending a ceremony at Tunku Abdul Rahman University College.
In his statement of claim filed on Oct 27, Najib was seeking damages and an injunction to restrain Dr Ling from further speaking or publishing or causing to be published any similar defamatory words against him.
The premier was also asking for an order that Dr Ling publish a written apology in newspaper or magazines to be identified by him.
In his statement of defence, Dr Ling said the civil claim was frivolous and vexatious and denied all allegations against him.
Dr Ling said Najib admitted RM2.6 billion (S$ 840 million) was indeed transferred into his personal bank account, and relied on the defence of fair comment and qualified privilege over his remarks.
He also denied tarnishing Najib's reputation. The case is set for case management at a High Court on Jan 11.