Chamil's lawyer Zalil Mohd Mess in a statement of apology read out in the High Court today, said the article had been twisted by Utusan Malaysia's weekend edition, Mingguan Malaysia, without Chamil's agreement.
"Not only has my work been twisted by Utusan Malaysia, I was not even consulted on the changes.
"However, they used my name in the article and I was not paid a honorarium for the work," Chamil (right) said in the apology.
The settlement was recorded before Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Abdul Hamid Sultan Backer.
Teresa Kok's lawyer Sankara Nair told the court that they were not seeking costs from Chamil.
He said Utusan Malaysia had to pay RM50,000 as costs as part of the settlement and the publisher has also agreed to carry an apology in Mingguan Malaysia.
‘Directed to create a wedge between me and Kok’
Chamil in expressing regret several times that his work had been used in such manner, said he sincerely apologised to Kok and readers if his work had hurt those involved.
He said the article (cerpen) is directed to create a wedge between him and Kok.
“I regret that Utusan had editorialised (menyunting) my work (cerpen) from its original form in an unprofessional and unethical manner which is beyond my knowledge and it was done without my approval. I am not responsible for this,” said his lawyer in a four-page statement.
“In my work sent to the Mingguan Malaysia editor I clearly stated the difference in the YBJ character and that of the Seputeh MP. In my original work, it is stated YBJ is close to (hanya mirip) YB Teresa Kok but YBJ is not Teresa Kok,” he said.
Describing the changes made as not small, Chamil claimed it was fundamental to changing the story which was contained in the original work.
He believed that the changes in Kok’s name and position to be used was purposely done by Mingguan Malaysia for the purpose of creating further controversy and scandal.
“As a result of this, Kok and myself had become victims in the scandal,” said Chamil, adding that while he acknowledged the editors and publishers have the right to change the original script, the changes need to be referred to the writer to get his agreement.
“In this case, the changes made did not get my approval and they did not contact nor inform me at all. That is why I do not consider the publication of this article as my original work, although my name is stated in it.”
Chamil said he had informed this to Kok’s lawyer when the suit came.
“I would like to stress that Mingguan plagiarised (ciplak) my original work and changed the characters resulting in it appearing different from the original work.
What makes me upset is that my name and picture were used. The fact that I did not get a honorarium is another proof that Mingguan did not think that this is my work,” he said.
Chamil said his reputation as a writer had been deeply tarnished.
“I have been criticised, scorn has been poured on me and I always felt I was doubted in the cyber world as if I had done a big sin, whereas I had nothing to do with this as my original work had been changed,” he said.
The editors of Mingguan should realise the fundamental change done, said the MPI chairperson.
Utusan’s lawyer TKB Mohana Kumar however objected to Chamil’s strong words and assertions and wanted the court to record this.
He read out Utusan’s apology which stated that after reading Chamil’s original work where Anwar Ibrahim, Umno and PAS were also referred to, changes were made to the original work. It also said Chamil had referred to Kok in his original work, which they had changed.
“We do not intend to refer to Kok in any way and sincerely we regret and apologise to her over the misunderstanding caused as a result of the publication of this (cerpen) article,” he said.
Utusan has also agreed to publish the apology in its weekend edition Sudut Sastera.- malaysiakini
Chamil Wariya, Utusan mohon maaf pada Teresa Kok...
Pengerusi Institut Akhbar Malaysia, Chamil Wariya dan Utusan Malaysia memohon maaf kepada Ahli Parlimen Seputeh, Teresa Kok kerana fitnah yang disiarkan dalam artikel bertajuk 'Politik Baru YBJ' yang diterbitkan oleh edisi hujung minggu akhbar harian milik Umno itu pada 12 Oktober 2008.
Peguam Zalil Mohd Mess - dalam kenyataan pemohonan maaf yang dibacakan di Mahkamah Tinggi hari ini - berkata artikel itu telah diubah oleh edisi hujung minggu Utusan Malaysia - Mingguan Malaysia - tanpa persetujuan Chamil.- malaysiakini