GEORGE TOWN: A defamation suit filed by Penang’s undersea tunnel builder against a Gerakan leader over an argument on costs has been settled after both sides reached a consent judgment at the High Court here today.
The case goes back two years when Penang Gerakan acting Youth chief Jason Loo questioned the cost of the undersea tunnel.
The undersea tunnel and road builder, Construction Zenith BUCG Sdn Bhd (now renamed Construction Zenith Sdn Bhd), sued Loo for defamation over statements he made in two different articles that appeared in Malaysiakini.
In one article on June 23, 2016, Loo said the feasibility study and detailed design were “only RM90 million” and not RM305 million as announced by the Penang government, after reading a report on the website of a Chinese company involved in the project.
The state owns the undersea tunnel and three roads project which was awarded to Zenith in an open tender in 2013.
In the second article on June 27, 2016, Loo said the state Public Accounts Committee had put the cost of the undersea tunnel at RM3.5 billion but then-state executive councillor Lim Hock Seng gave a figure of RM3.7 billion.
In the consent judgment, Loo said the statement he made in 2016 was directed at the state government and not Zenith.
The judgment was recorded by justice Rosilah Yop. Harpal Singh Grewal represented Loo.
Zenith’s lawyer Syarul Fadzlee Kamaruzaman said the consent judgment vindicated the company.