Getting back reputation is priority, not money

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KUCHING: For Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) information chief Datuk Idris Buang, getting his reputation restored was reward enough.

He said this was his priority when he agreed to withdraw his legal suit against former Pujut assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choon, who expressed regret in issuing defamatory statements against him (Idris).

“I am not demanding (any damages), because one thing, when I agreed to this statement of regret, I am not seeking any monetary compensation in the first place, it is getting my reputation back,” he told reporters here today (Oct 21).

Earlier, Idris said Dr Ting – who made allegations against him and Amanah Saham Sarawak Berhad (Assar) in 2019, likening Assar to scandal-hit 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) – had reached out via his counsel to get the matter to be settled out of court.

In the court proceedings today, the former Pujut assemblyman read his statement of regret. He also retracted his allegations and vowed not to repeat it in the future.

Idris, a former director at Assar, said his decision to withdraw the suit against Dr Ting was for the company to move forward with its restructuring plans.

“Now Assar is getting its restructuring plans rolled out, but because of this case, the Securities Commission (SC) and Assar could not do that.

“In view of the welfare, wellbeing of Assar and their employees, looking forward to the rollout of the restructuring plan, I accede to the request by Dr Ting to put his statement of regret, which if I accept, meant I have to withdraw the suit,” he said.

Idris said the rollout plan was for the company to recover from its losses after being badly affected by the market.

“So, I hope with the new business model, Assar can move on,” he said.

Asked on why he opted against going to trial, the Muara Tuang assemblyman said the process would take years and would dampen the restructuring of Assar.

“If the matter goes to trial, Assar becomes the victim of the circumstance; I would rather put Assar’s interest above my personal interest as it is about the state and the people.”

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