KUALA LUMPUR: Media outlets and politicians may have to face lawsuits from Lim Guan Eng (pic) if they continue to question the Finance Minister’s education credentials, his political secretary Tony Pua warns.
Lim’s lawyers have advised that he reserved his rights to file such lawsuits against any newspapers “that continue to print lies to diminish and question his position, stature and credibility”, Pua read from a prepared statement at a press conference yesterday.
Asked if he will consider taking legal action against MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong for raising the matter, Pua said that would be a possibility.
Pua declined to take further questions during the press conference, saying that it was the lawyers’ advice.
“I was instructed by the lawyers to Mr Lim not to take questions on this issue. Because this matter may go to court and they don’t want me saying the wrong things at a press conference,” he said.
“So I’ve been asked to stick to the statement. This is what we would like to highlight today (Monday).”
Lim was not present at the press conference, which was led by Pua and attended by Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng and Pandamaran assemblymen Leong Tuck Chee.
“This issue is frivolous. There is no need for him as the Finance Minister to answer to this,” Pua explained when quizzed by the media.
On Lim’s limguaneng.com website, it is stated in his biodata that he graduated from Monash University, Australia, with a Bachelor of Economics and was a qualified professional accountant by 1983.
Pua, in answering Dr Wee, said that Lim had graduated in 1983, adding that the Australian academic calendar ends in November, before the summer break.
“Therefore, by the end of 1983, Lim had completed and passed all his examinations necessary for him to obtain his degree and qualifications to be an accountant,” he said.
Pua added that Lim had duly received his Certificate of Membership in Australian Society of Accountants three months after passing his examinations on Feb 21, 1984.
“His membership was even before he received his degree certificate on April 11, 1984,” he said.
Pua said that universities had their own conventions in naming their degrees, adding that “having a Bachelor of Economics degree does not mean that Lim didn’t study accountancy”.
During the press conference, Pua also distributed copies of Lim’s certificate of membership with the Australian Society of Accountants, which said that Lim was admitted as a provisional member of the society on Feb 21, 1984.