Yeo Bee Yin says suing slanderers for defaming govt, not husband

Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Yeo Bee Yin denied that the legal action was due to her husband being defamed and implicated in the issues. — Picture by Zuraneeza Zulkifli
Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Yeo Bee Yin denied that the legal action was due to her husband being defamed and implicated in the issues. — Picture by Zuraneeza Zulkifli

JOHOR BARU, July 3 — Minister Yeo Bee Yin has clarified today that she is suing those who allegedly slandered Putrajaya, because they have accused the government for purportedly protecting her husband over the second Pasir Gudang pollution incident.

In a recent Facebook post, the minister of energy, science, technology, environment and climate change also denied that the legal action was due to her husband being defamed and implicated in the issues.

“I will sue those who slandered the government by saying that the government was slow in identifying the cause [of the Pasir Gudang pollution] just to protect my husband, and not because my husband was defamed,” Yeo wrote.

Her latest posting was believed to be in response to an earlier Malay Mail report quoting Johor Umno liaison committee chairman Datuk Hasni Mohammad’s claim that Yeo failed to separate her public duty as minister from her private role as a wife.

“Hundreds of government officials are reading the air quality day and night, how can the reading be duplicated or halted by a minister’s instructions? 

“Many enforcement teams have been deployed to check the factories in Pasir Gudang, how can they be controlled by ministers to not take action?” she asked in her post, that also was to clear the air on her earlier posting.

The Bakri MP also added that such accusations were an insult to the government officials who had worked hard since the start of the incident.

“I did not expect that there was a political agenda to attack me in denying the efforts of those who worked hard in Pasir Gudang,” said Yeo.

Yesterday, a post accusing the federal government of being slow to act on the Pasir Gudang pollution went viral, with anti-Pakatan Harapan (PH) groups attributing it to nepotism as Yeo’s husband supposedly owns three chemical plants in the district.

Photos of Yeo and her husband who is heir to the IOI palm oil and properties conglomerate, Lee Yeow Seng, were spread on several social media sites, including the purported Facebook pages of Johor Umno and a known anti-PH group accompanying those allegations.

However, the three IOI subsidiaries listed by the detractors — IOI Pan Century Oleochemical Sdn Bhd, IOI Lipid Enzymtec Sdn Bhd, IOI Pan Century Edible Oil Sdn Bhd — that are all situated in Pasir Gudang deal with palm oil rather than chemicals.

Yeo later responded in her Facebook page, saying she will take legal action against all who spread lies and abused their freedom of speech.

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