Guan Eng lambasts defamation suits against those alleging Pahang logging issues

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DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has criticised the Pahang government’s decision to sue two people who earlier alleged that wrongful logging activities were taking place in the state.

The Opposition lawmaker also said that his party’s legal bureau head, Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh, will be defending one of those being sued — Bentong MP and DAP member, Wong Tack.

“Whether there was indeed logging or any wrongdoings, it is the duty of the government to provide clarification or point to point rebuttal and not to resort to defamatory action in a blatant attempt to abruptly close up the matter because there can be no constructive public discourse if the matter is brought to trial,” Lim said in a statement.

Hari Anggara

“If defamatory action is taken by ministers or mentri besar personally, that is different as they have a right to do so to protect their individual reputation whilst acting in their official capacity.

“However, for a government to sue is tantamount to putting the government on a ‘divine’ pedestal that it must be treated as a holy cow which no one can speak evil of. Is this not an abuse of government privileges and resources?” he added.

Lim also said that environmentalist Puan Sri Shariffa Sabrina Syed Akil — who is the other individual being sued by the Pahang government for speaking out against logging activities — has indicated that she would not be intimidated and will fight the case “all the way”.

According to the letter of demand served on Shariffa, who is president of Pertubuhan Pelindung Khazanah Alam Malaysia (Peka), she was said to have made defamatory statements in two posts published on her personal Facebook account dated December 29 and 30 last year, as well as during an interview with Sinar Harian on January 12 this year.

Meanwhile, Wong is being sued for supposedly posting two defamatory videos on social media, on December 28 last year and on January 30 this year.

Both individuals had spoken about logging activities in Pahang, and are now being asked by the Barisan Nasional-run state government to apologise for their statements and pay RM1 million in damages. – MMO