BAGAN MP Lim Guan Eng has filed a police report against former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for criminal defamation following a week of back and forth between the duo on Yayasan Albukhary’s tax exemptions.
Addressing reporters in front of the Dang Wangi district police station today, the former finance minister explained that the purpose of his police report against Muhyiddin was to keep the case from becoming campaign fodder for the six state elections slated for end-June or early-July this year.
The DAP national chairman further claimed that Perikatan Nasional (PN) will use these lies in the upcoming state elections if “we didn’t put an end to them”. He then urged everyone to run their campaigns on the basis of facts.
“Don’t be like Donald Trump. Campaigning on lies,” insisted Guan Eng in reference to the US former president’s 2016 presidential campaign known for its right-wing message to “Make America Great Again”.
Moreover, Guan Eng justified that he decided to file the police report because allegations by the Perikatan Nasional chairman and Bersatu president that a non-Muslim finance minister had withdrawn the tax-exempt status of a Muslim charity could inflame racial tensions that jeopardises national security.
Muhyiddin made the claim after he was summoned by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to have his statement recorded recently. Among the issues raised by the anti-graft agency was the appeal against the cancellation of the tax exemption granted to the Albukhary Foundation.
Accompanied by his lawyer and Jelutong MP RSN Rayer, Guan Eng said the Pagoh MP has refused to retract the accusation even after Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s statement in Parliament yesterday (March 21).
Guan Eng’s report was filed under Section 499 of the Penal Code for criminal defamation as well as Sections 504 and 505(C) of the same code for breach of peace and public mischief respectively.
“I have asked him (Muhyiddin) to retract the statement and apologise, but until today, he has failed to do so. When you say things like that, you create an atmosphere that is very unhealthy … that is very sensitive,” Guan Eng pointed out, adding that once a lie has been spread, they cannot be undone no matter how much damage control one attempts to undertake.
“That is very sensitive. One, if it’s true, and worse if it’s not true […] No matter how much explanation we say ‘this is not true’, the damage is done. People believe it because it comes from a former prime minister,” he added.
Also present in solidarity with Guan Eng were DAP MPs Howard Lee Chuan How, Young Syefura Othman, Syerleena Abd Rashid, Teresa Kok Suh Sim, Khoo Poay Tiong and Dr Kelvin Yii. – March 22, 2023
Main photo credit: Lim Guan Eng’s Facebook page