PETALING JAYA: Penang chief minister Chow Kon Yeow has said he will sue tycoon Tan Kok Ping for making alleged defamatory remarks about him yesterday.
Chow said the decision to sue Tan, the Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce (PCCC) life honorary president, was made by the state’s executive council today.
Speaking in Mandarin at a press conference yesterday, Tan had described Chow as “incompetent, ignorant and shameless” for evading questions about the sale of a plot of industrial land in Batu Kawan.
Chow denied the accusation, saying the Penang Development Corporation (PDC), a state agency he chairs, had furnished answers to all questions on the matter.
In a brief statement today, Chow said the Penang executive council took the position that Tan’s remarks had humiliated and degraded the chief minister’s office.
As a result, he said, the exco unanimously agreed that Chow should initiate legal action against Tan.
Earlier this month, PCCC raised the issue of land sold by PDC to Umech Construction Sdn Bhd (Umech) at a price below market value.
PCCC said it found the directly negotiated deal to be unacceptable. It alleged that a property developer had taken control of Umech and offered to lease out parcels of the land at high rates.
Criticising how the land was given up to a private company, Tan had chastised Chow for continuing to defend the deal, saying the transaction did not go through a proper due diligence process.
“I don’t know why he (Chow) still wants to emphasise that they have evaluated the company in a professional and transparent manner.
“I hope they can make the evaluation report public and then once it is out, people will die laughing,” Tan was quoted as saying by Sin Chew Daily.
The 226ha deal was called off by PDC yesterday, citing non-disclosure of a change in Umech Land’s ownership. The state agency also defended its earlier decision to sell the land to Umech.
Sunway Bhd had on Sept 27 announced that a joint development agreement was entered between Umech Land and PDC to co-develop 226ha of land in Batu Kawan into an industrial park with a gross development value of around RM3.5 billion.
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