Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng says he is not going to respond to the 'lies' churned out by his detractors. He prefers to haul them to court instead.
The DAP secretary-general believes that “action speaks louder than words” and is determined to pursue legal action to stop his detractors’ “repeated lies”.
“I will not comment on Umno Youth’s repeated lies. I will take defamatory court action to prevent Umno, Utusan Malaysia and other Barisan Nasional papers from playing with fire by stoking racial and religious sentiments to undermine me and the Pakatan Rakyat state government,” he said.
Lim said he has been patient all this while Umno used racial and religious rhetoric to undermine his political leadership.
However, the chief minister said his political adversaries crossed the line when Penang Umno Youth chief Shaik Hussein Mydin alleged that he had sold an earmarked mosque land in the Bayan Mutiara development.
“By consistently telling lies and even stoking racial and religious tension, Umno is creating racial and religious hatred against me as chief minister and the state government,” he added in a blog posting.
Last week, Shaik Hussein dared Lim to include several vital issues in his imminent libel suit over the Bayan Mutiara fiasco.
He wanted Lim, whom he described as a “confusing master”, to include his claim that the 41.6ha Bayan Mutiara land was sold to Ivory Properties Group Bhd for an unrealistic sum of RM1.2 billion.
The state government sold the land at RM240 per sq ft to Ivory, which Umno claimed was below the market price of RM420.
The Umno Youth leader also criticised the five-year period given for the settlement of the land premium as “senseless” and that the project was shrouded by elements of corruption and breach of trust.
He also claimed that the DAP-helmed state government suffered losses for not carrying out the project on its own.
“Leave out Utusan, just sue me. But don’t just sue over the mosque land allegations. Include all these issues and I will reveal all in court,” he told a press conference at the state Umno office.
‘1Malaysia an empty slogan’
Last week, Lim revealed that he planned to take legal action against Shaikh and Umno-owned daily Utusan for playing up religious sentiments by making claims that the state government had sold a reserved plot of land for a mosque to facilitate the Bayan Mutiara project.
He alleged that Utusan even printed vulgar and defamatory words against him.
Citing that it was not the first time that Umno made defamatory allegations against him, Lim said previously Shaik Hussein and Umno leaders lied that the 102.6 acres of Bayan Mutiara land was not sold by open tender.
He said Shaik Hussein had reiterated his lies even though the state government and the developer had proved him wrong.
“Shaik Hussein continued with his lies that I had said that I did not need the support of Indians.
“When his lies were exposed, Shaik not only refused to apologise as promised but changed to another lie that I have caused the mosque land to disappear.
“This time, the lie is explosive because it touches on religious sentiments and designed to create hatred among Muslims against me, a non-Muslim leader,” said the Bagan MP.
When the Bayan Mutiara land was sold by open tender, Lim explained that it had to be sold as an entire piece because there was no sub-division of title.
He said the developer would only do sub-division of title after submitting new plans to the island municipality (MPPP) for approval.
“Since the new plans and sub-division of title has not even been submitted, how can Umno claim that the mosque or school land has been sold or disappeared?” asked Lim.
Under the local government’s stringent rules, he reminded Umno that development project plans were required to include sites for schools and places of religious worship, including surau or mosque.
Thus, he said, Umno could only make claims that the mosque or school land had been sold or disappeared if the new plan approved by MPPP had no sites for mosques or schools.
As a people-centric government, Lim said his government had always held dear the fundamental principle of not allowing any land allocated or earmarked for schools and places of religious worship, such as mosques, surau, churches, Chinese, Hindu or Buddhist temples, to disappear.
“Creating hatred against non-Malay and non-Muslim based on lies shows that 1Malaysia is an empty slogan. It’s designed to deceive the people to vote in the coming general election for race-based extremist parties in BN,” he added.