I just want to write about a friend, a former NSTP staff. To be precise, he was a senior sports reporter with Berita Harian. He decided to leave the company in late 1990s after serving as a correspondent in Lumut (tempat dia berlumut).
Khairul Anuar Mokhtar (pic, in long-sleeve shirt), now in his early 50s, currently works for a broadcast organisation in Kuala Lumpur. I bumped into him at the Angkasapuri recently, days before he won the 10 years legal battle against the NSTP.
The Ipoh High Court had on Feb 22 gave a consent judgment between the two parties, with Khairul receiving RM45,000 following an out-of-court settlement in a defamation suit. Besides NSTP, he also named then-journalist Azmi M Anshar, Sharanjit Singh and the editor of the New Sunday Times, as defendants.
This suit followed an error in a photo caption that had appeared in the publication which had depicted Khairul as an alleged member of the Al Maúnah cult, when he was not. The photo and caption had appeared in the New Sunday Times on July 9, 2000.
As part of the settlement, the newspaper would also be required to issue an apology and retraction of the matter. The court did not, however, make order as to costs. Khairul had initially demanded RM632,000 as exemplary and aggravated damages.
He was represented by counsel Faizal Kamaruddin while NST and others were represented by lawyer Yau Her Lerk.
Its not the amount which he gets but the dignity which was reinstated. During that time, he may look like a peasant but I believe many people at the NSTP could recognise him.
NOTE: The news was only carried by Malaysiakini. I dont think the NSTP group of newspapers published it. Hmmm....I wonder why. I had also met some friends whom I didnt see after our Form 5 about 33 years ago, recently. We still recognise each other although some are either fat, thin, bloated, full of grey hair, bearded, bald and in many appearances. In Khairul's case, he just left the company a few years....