In the middle of the Selangor MB crisis, on 6th August 2014 the PAS Member of Parliament for Temerloh, Nasrudin Hassan made these allegations against Penang Chief Minister YAB Lim Guan Eng regarding the Penang Tunnel Project:
- The Penang Tunnel was awarded without open tender
- The Penang Tunnel did not have sufficient public consultations
- The Penang Tunnel at RM4,63 billion (for 6.5km) is overpriced.
- The Penang State Govt keeps running budget deficits.
You can see Lim Guan Eng's press conference with the 24 hour ultimatum to Nasrudin here:
The next day, YB Nasrudin said he refuses to apologize and made further clarification on his allegations including:
- The tunnel is still overpriced and worse, the figure of RM3.6 billion (for the tunnel portion out of the total RM6.3 billion project cost) given by Lim Guan Eng would have still mean a total cost of RM553 million per km to build while the 20.8km of above ground roads connected to the tunnel would cost RM2.7 billion or RM130 million per km - a staggeringly high figure.
- That the award of the Penang Tunnel project is still not an open tender as Lim Guan Eng had signed a MOU on the Tunnel with Beijing Urban Construction Group Co. Ltd (BUCG) - one of the consortium member of the winning party on 28 April 2011 - a full 6 months before the project pre-qualification on 14 Nov 2011 - and a full two years before the project was awarded in 2013.
- The Penang State Govt would have been in budget deficits if not for the revenue from the yearly sales of state land that has increased by 303% from the past few years.
When asked the reason why the 30 years toll concession was given on top of paying the full cost of the tunnel, Lim Guan Eng had given the official excuse that he doesn't want Penang bridge operators to use him, - which of course makes no sense at all.
This made Lim Guan Eng even more angry and he announced the next day on 9th Aug 2014 that he has already got his lawyers to sue Nasrudin Hassan.
Listen to LGE as he holds yet another press conference - this time saying he has no choice but to sue Nasrudin.
This time, Lim Guan Eng did not lie and his lawyers did indeed continue to sue Nasrudin Hassan over this RM6.3 billion overpriced no open tender allegation and a defamation suit was issued to Nasrudin Hassan.
However.... horrors of horrors !!!
A little over a month later on Sept 30th 2014, we learned that the high court has thrown out this defamation case against Nasrudin by Lim Guan Eng and fined Lim Guan Eng RM500 for wasting the court's time!!
This was reported by PAS newspaper Harakah and Free Malaysia Today saying that the reason was that Lim Guan Eng and his lawyers "forgot" to sign on their own summons paper which they issued against Nasrudin!
On 2nd Oct 2014, the Malay edition of MalaysiaKini also reported this and quoted Lim Guan Eng's lawyer as saying it was a genuine mistake that they forgot to sign:
As a side-note, it is important to point out that this particularly fishy and highly embarassing piece of news of "the Chief Minister LGE and his lawyers forgetting to sign on their own summons" which they themselves issued was never reported by the English version of MalaysiaKini or Malaysian Insider nor in any official Lim Guan Eng or DAP statements or media.
Exactly like how MalaysiaKini and Malaysian Insider "forgot to report" on the biggest ever record lawsuit award in Malaysia where the PKR ADUN for Api-Api and PKR Sabah Deputy Chairperson Christina Liew was ordered by the High Court to pay RM557 million for colluding with her staff to cheat 819 poor landowners out of their land.
Okay.. back to the LGE "forgot to sign" lawsuit...
LGE's lawyer at that time said that "as soon as we receive back the documents from the court, we will re-issue the defamation suit to Nasrudin Hassan again".
That was on 2nd Oct 2014.
Today is 23rd Dec 2015 - and more than a year later, there are no media reports about this defamation law-suit ever being re-issued and there is no trace of this lawsuit in the courts systems.
And I thought that DAP and PAS hated each other now. Suing the PAS MP for defamation and humiliating him would help LGE and DAP prove what "liars" PAS leaders are - but strangely LGE didn't take this opportunity.
Despite multiple press conferences and press statements and angry threats initially saying he will sue, when it comes down to actually suing LGE went all quiet.
Why is this? Nothing for over one and half years?
This leads me to ask Lim Guan Eng and his lawyers this following question:
That the allegations by PAS Nasrudin Hassan are true?
"RM6.3 billion Penang Tunnel project is way overpriced, that the project was awarded without open tender and that Penang State Government would be running annual deficits without selling state land?"
Now, many people have alleged PM Najib Razak of not suing over WSJ's July 2015 allegation that Najib supposedly stole RM2.6 billion from 1MDB is proof that Najib is guilty.
The latest update however is that last month, Najib's lawyers are advising PM to saman WSJ in Malaysia.
Najib's lawyers to advise him to sue WSJ in Malaysia, not US
There is nothing wrong with this as each and every one of Singapore govt's four defamation cases against Wall Street Journal which they won were also all filed in Singapore: THIS IS HOW SINGAPORE DOES IT. https://www.facebook.com/lim.siansee/posts/1691245134427607:1
It also took months form the date of the original article before Singapore officially filed their charge.
But in the meantime, over the past two years, Najib has sued the following persons for defamation:
- Najib sued DAP's Tony Pua over Tony Pua's 1MDB allegations. Instead of wanting to grill Najib in court over 1MDB to "find out the truth about 1MDB", Tony Pua wants to strike0off (cancel) the lawsuit on technical grounds. The case is still going on.
- Sued MalaysiaKini for alleging that Najib bribed ADUNs in Terengganu - to which MalaysiaKini has offered to say it regretted its actions but Najib wants a full apology.
- Sued Ling Liong Sik for saying Najib took public money
- Sued DAP's Nga Kor Ming for slandering that Rosmah is in control of cabinet.
- The Govt charged former Perak Menteri Besar Nizar Jamaluddin from PAS (now Amanah) for criminal defamation. Nizar has now given a full apology to Najib and the case is settled.
Najib also sued PKR's Secretary General Rafizi Ramli for defamation for publicly saying in ceramahs that Najib steals money from public to buy diamond rings for Rosmah.
After being sued, Rafizi's official excuse in the court proceedings was an incredible "I was just joking".
Thus, Najib does indeed have a very good track record in following-up with his threats to sue others for defamation.
I believe it is also a matter of time before their lawyers file suit against Wall Street Journal's article which suggested that RM2.6 billion of money from 1MDB went into Najib's personal account (the MACC has already said the money was not from 1MDB).
The case would probably be filed in Malaysia - just like how Singapore's leaders filed and won defamation suits against WSJ in their own country and remember that Singapore leaders also took months or up to a year before officially filing suit agaisnt WSJ too as suing a foreign news agency from the USA is easier said than done.
But at least Najib and his lawyers did not give lame excuse as "forgetting to sign" on their own law-suits.
I do find it amazing thought that people are more concerned about a lawsuit by Najib over RM2.6 billion but do not seem concerned that a RM6.3 billion overpriced project no open tender award allegation law-suit did not proceed for over 1 1/2 years based on a "forgot to sign own saman" excuse.
Malaysians are strange but I am confident that not many of my fellow Malaysians are so foolish to believe a "forgot to sign on own court summons paper" excuse.
Or it could be the opposition-friendly media did not play up this issue and kept it well-hidden in order to continue misleading and using the opposition supporters.