KUALA LUMPUR: A consortium is suing acting Penang Gerakan Youth chief Jason Loo (pix) for defaming it relating to its feasibility study and detailed design on the Penang undersea tunnel and three highways projects.
But Loo has filed a counter-claim saying that he has been slandered by the consortium and is asking for various damages from it.
Speaking to reporters here Tuesday after the parties met High Court deputy registrar Nurul Ain Hamzah in chambers, Loo’s lawyer Chai Ko Thing said the case was now slotted for case management on Nov 21.
"The defendant now wants to transfer the lawsuit to the Penang High Court as he believes that the cause of action is there," said the lawyer.
Chai said Nurul Ain has also ordered the parties to exchange affidavit for the hearing of the transfer application and directed the consortium's lawyer Tengku Haris Syazwani to file defence against the counter-claim.
Loo told reporters that he filed his counter-claim last week as he "want to fight for the truth of the project".
According to the court papers made available to media, Consortium Zenith BUCG Sdn Bhd was awarded with the contract by the Penang Government to conduct the feasibility study and detailed design for the undersea tunnel project on Oct 6, 2013.
The Penang Government is said to have agreed in principle to award the final contract to the consortium for the construction works to complete the 6.5km tunnel project linking the Penang island to Butterworth.
The consortium claimed that Loo had on June 23 made a media statement questioning its work credibility and made certain disparaging remarks against it which tarnished its good name, integrity and reputation.
It said the statement, which had been published in an online news portal, had implied that the consortium is an untrustworthy company.
In the statement of claim dated Aug 8, the consortium is seeking damages, an apology and an injunction to restrain Loo to stop him from repeating the alleged defamatory words.
In the defence dated Oct 12, Loo denied the claim saying that he did not refer to the consortium when he gave a media statement.
Among others, Loo said his statement is a fair comment to the Penang Government in terms of its fact and substance.
In the counter-claim, Loo said the consortium had misled all parties by filing the "reckless" civil action against him.
Loo is claiming for general, exemplary and aggravated damages for defamation, an apology and costs from the consortium.
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