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KUALA LUMPUR, March 6 — Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said today he will contest the defamation suit to be filed by Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim, over accusation the latter received bribe for the Penang undersea tunnel project.
The DAP secretary-general said it is common for Barisan Nasional lawmakers to file legal suits against Opposition leaders, and said he will need to check on the letter of demand sent to him as he had yet to return to his office in Penang.
“If he wants to sue, that is within his rights. We will contest the suit,” he told reporters outside the Dewan Rakyat, referring to the Baling MP.
When asked on the claims he made against Abdul Azeez aired on the local television channel TV3, Lim mockingly replied: “When has TV3 ever covered me?”
He also dismissed Abdul Azeez’s demand for a public apology.
Earlier, Abdul Azeez said he had instructed his lawyers to send a letter of demand to Lim's office and home in Penang, yesterday.
The Tabung Haji chairman said he had given Lim four days to issue a public apology on all mainstream media channels, take back his statement and not repeat the slanderous statements, before proceeding with the legal suit.
Last week, Abdul Azeez had lodged a police report on claims implicating he had received a bribe from undersea tunnel and three paired roads project contractor, Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (CZC).
The Lembaga Tabung Haji chairman had also lodged a police report saying the letter by CZC legal representatives accused him of being a swindler and a “corrupt person capable of influencing the police and MACC”.
It was later reported in a press conference that CZC has retracted the claims it made and apologised for the mistake made, as well as acknowledging that the Umno lawmaker was a victim of name-dropping.