Yesterday morning, my legal representatives went to Komtar to serve my writ of summons to YAB Lim Guan Eng.
However, the Chief Minister refused to meet the reps and accept the summons in person – which was no surprise, as he had also not responded to my legal letter of demand previously. Instead, one of his aides accepted the writ on his behalf
A Case Management is now set at the KL High Court on 20th September 2017.
YAB Lim should not be allowed to defame me in an attempt to undermine my credibility without any response from me.
Even though it is coming to two months since he issued a press statement saying he had “no choice” but to sue me for alleged slander, I have yet to receive anything from him or his lawyers.
On the same day of YAB Lim’s “no choice” threat, I issued a counter-statement to deny that I slandered him and pointed out that he did indeed say what he said. Following is the statement I issued on the 2nd of July 2017:
- In a press statement issued today, YAB Lim Guan Eng said he had no choice but to sue me and The New Straits Times for defamatory statements.
- Guan Eng claimed that the alleged defamatory statement is the following:
_”Lim earlier today claimed that Penang folk were angry that a leader of a clean government has been charged with corruption and were afraid that his incarceration would affect the state’s i-Sejahtera welfare programme.”_
- In addition, Guan Eng also claimed that “he had never made such a statement or a speech yesterday in the DAP Penang Hari Raya Aidilfitri Open House in Jawi, Nibong Tebal.”
- But the problem is that no one said that Guan Eng had made such a statement at the DAP Penang Hari Raya Aidilfitri Open House in Jawi, Nibong Tebal yesterday.
- NST however, did publish a photo of Guan Eng at the Nibong Tebal open house yesterday but did not specifically say the statement was made there.
- However, the fact remains that GUAN Eng did make such remarks in his official statement dated 1st July 2016 here:
- In that statement, Guan Eng had written:
_”Ordinary Penangites Know What Is At Stake Is Pakatan’s i-Sejahtera Program From A Clean Government.”_
_”These ordinary Penangites are angry that the leader of a clean government is now charged for corruption and that the RM400 million contributions under i-sejahtera program is under threat. “_
- YAB Lim’s press statement then was also reported in the online media with the headline “Penang’s needy will suffer if I am jailed, Guan Eng claims” on 1st July 2016 here:
- The key point which Guan Eng could not refute is that he did make those statements – only not yesterday and not in Nibong Tebal, which is the main complaint that YAB has over NST’s article.
- Essentially Guan Eng is suing on the basis of wrong reference of a date rather than the essence of BNSC’s criticism. Guan Eng is simply being petty. He should address the bigger picture which is the gist of BNSC’s statement.
- Once again let BNSC reiterate its point. Penang government is bigger than any one individual. It is unthinkable that the Penang Govt would stop the i-sejahtera program should one of their leaders be charged or convicted for corruption.
- If the current DAP Penang Government is unable to continue taking care of the interest of the Penang people without Guan Eng then the entire Penang EXCO should resign for being incompetent.
- I consider Guan Eng’s declaration that he intends to sue me and a newspaper as his continuing efforts to intimidate media and stifle freedom of speech.
It is also an attempt to divert attention from the BNSC’s ongoing exposes on the Penang Tunnel and 3 roads projects (where a scandalous RM220 million have already been paid for consultancy fees) which Penang EXCO Chow Kon Yeow claimed is merely 17% over-priced instead of four times more as mentioned by Board Of Engineers.
- I stand by my press statement and should Guan Eng proceeds with his threat to sue then I will mount my legal defense including suing Guan Eng back for claiming that I had defamed him.
- Guan Eng cannot and must not be allowed to use legal avenue to silence his critics. Notwithstanding Guan Eng’s threat to sue, the BNSC team shall continue with our effort to expose various scandals and weaknesses of DAP’s governance in Penang.
- It is also hoped that the Penang Government will take our past and future questions seriously and reply to them – especially since they have remained silent on so many of our recent questions.