GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government is considering suing leaders from Barisan Nasional parties, following a suit initiated by Gerakan against Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng earlier today.
Lim said he would speak to his legal advisers to see if it was possible for the state to sue those who made false and damaging statements against the state government.
He said the state government would await the outcome of Gerakan’s defamation suit against him before proceeding.
Lim said if the suit was successful, the Penang government would consider suing individuals deemed to have defamed the state.
“If this is permitted, then we will probably be filing a lot of suits against opposition leaders who tell a lot of lies, including Gerakan leaders who have lied a lot about the state government,” he told reporters here today.
Earlier today, Gerakan filed a defamation suit against Lim for “damaging the reputation of the party” over the sale of land in Tanjung Pinang here in the late 1990s.
Lim said typically, an individual could take someone to court for defamation, but organisations could not do the same, as it was a personal action and not a general action suit.
“That is why you don’t see the state government suing opposition leaders such as Umno leaders who make false statements against us.
“Umno will make some false statement against the Penang government, then some reporters will write columns and defamatory statements against the state government.
“(But) you don’t see us suing, because this is an action against an individual, not against a government or an organisation,” he said.
In response to Gerakan’s suit, Lim said he would leave it to his lawyers to defend it in court.
He added that the suit was four years too late, and that it was being timed to be used as a political campaign for the upcoming general election.
Lim likened the suit to the Registrar of Societies ordering DAP to hold another round of elections, “four years later”.
“As I have said, we will let the court decide. This is clearly in preparation for the general election, to try to prevent us from exposing past misdeeds and lies.”
Checks by FMT showed the Penang state constitution allows the state to sue and be sued.