Bring it on, Loke tells MIC chief over threat to sue

Transport Minister Loke Siew Fook says he was carrying out his duty as a minister and as such, should not be sued in his personal capacity. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Transport Minister Loke Siew Fook has told Dewan Negara president SA Vigneswaran to “bring it on” after the MIC president threatened to sue him for violating his privacy.

Loke said he had no regrets standing up for the airport staff involved in the incident Vigneswaran was said to have broken the rules for the VIP section at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

The Seremban MP, who released a CCTV clip of the incident to the media, said it was the right thing to do.

“It’s up to him if he wants to sue me. But I’m carrying out my duty as a minister so no such thing as suing me as an individual,” he said at the Parliament lobby.

Loke said Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad (MAHB) reports to the transport ministry and as such, the airport is under his jurisdiction.

He said the transport ministry would also be the one replying to airport-related questions in Parliament.

Loke had also alleged that Vigneswaran had failed to comply with the dress code as he had been wearing slippers when sending off his daughter through the VIP lane and demanded that Vigneswaran apologise.

Earlier today, Vigneswaran announced that he was taking legal action against Loke, saying his privacy was violated when the CCTV clip of him was revealed to the media.

During a press conference in Parliament, Vigneswaran said Loke had also breached rules by making public a CCTV recording of him at the airport, adding that his children who were with him had also been dragged into the controversy.

Vigneswaran said he was taking legal action in his personal capacity to protect his family members, and that Loke would likewise be named as defendant in his personal capacity and not as a minister.

Commenting on this, Loke defended his actions of revealing the CCTV recording to the public, saying that the issue was about Vigneswaran, not his family members.

“I didn’t raise any other issues. Nothing related to his children and wife,” he said.

He also slammed Federal Territory MIC chief S Rajah’s challenge to take action against the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) chairman Daim Zainuddin for wearing slippers when using the VIP lane in KLIA.

Rajah also said that it appeared as if the transport ministry had instructed KLIA officers to uphold the law selectively and only against opposition leaders.

Loke said the issue was not about Vigneswaran wearing slippers.

“The issue is not about sandal or slippers. We are talking about someone who entered the restricted area without authorisation, the VIP lane, not about sandals. That simple issue also they can’t understand, no wonder MIC is being rejected even by the Indian community,” he added.