GEORGE TOWN, July 18 — Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng does not need to apologise to Gerakan, his special legal officer Raja Syarafina Raja Shuib said today following its defamation allegation.
Raja Syarafina confirmed the Chief Minister’s Office received Gerakan’s Notice of Action on July 12, but said the state Opposition party has no basis to its demand for an apology to its defamation claim.
“We regrettably found no basis that warrants the Chief Minister to issue any semblance of apology within the given deadline or at any time,” she said in a statement.
Raja Syarafina said Gerakan’s legal team is welcome to serve the cause papers.
“What we can’t anticipate however, is the question of the long time needed to file a suit and the timing now just before the 14th General Elections,” she said.
She questioned Gerakan’s delay in commencing legal action when they had claimed they were defamed since 2012.
“One wonders why they even needed a 5-year gap before actually commencing action,” she said.
She accused Gerakan president Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong and Gerakan of practising double standards.
“Their leaders (like Penang Gerakan Youth Acting Chairman Jason Loo) complained about the death of freedom of expression after being sued for defamation by Lim.
“However, no Gerakan leaders talk about death of freedom of expression when Mah or Gerakan sues Lim. Why is it okay for Gerakan to sue but not for Lim Guan Eng to sue?” she asked.
Raja Syarafina said Lim will defend the defamation suit by Gerakan and welcomes the opportunity to prove in court that the previous Barisan Nasional Penang state government sold 36 times more land than the present state government, but yet received less money.