Guan Eng questioned by former acting Gerakan Youth chief in defamation suit

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng says the government's fiscal consolidation is on track as it targets to reduce the deficit from 3.7% of GDP in 2018 to below 3% by 2021.

GEORGE TOWN: The second day of a defamation trial at the High Court here saw former chief minister Lim Guan Eng being cross-examined by Jason Loo, who had decided to represent himself.

Lim had brought a defamation suit against the former Gerakan acting Youth chief  over remarks made in three Chinese daily's in 2017 about the sale of 6.4 acres of government land in Peel Avenue to a private hospital on a 99-year lease.

During the cross-examination on Monday (April 29), Lim told the High Court that it was untrue that the state planned to withhold information from the public about the sale of the land in Peel Avenue.

"The state wanted to wait till the hospital obtained their branch licence," he said.

Lim then agreed that before May 12, 2017, the public was not aware of the land being sold to a private hospital when a non-governmental organisation brought up the issue of the Peel Avenue land sale.

Things got heated when Loo asked Lim if he felt that the defendant (referring to himself) was entitled to question the issue, Lim responded by saying they were not questions but "lies".

"It is a lie, that is why I am suing you," he said.

Lim then disagreed when Loo said his press statements were only questioning the former in his capacity as the then chief minister and not him personally.

Lim also disagreed when Loo said that although he (Loo) had contested in GE14, he  lost by a bigger margin than in GE13, meaning his comments did not carry any weight and the former chief minister had suffered no damage from Loo's statements.

Lim has also filed defamation suits against China Press, and Guang Ming

He is seeking damages and an order to prevent the publication of articles related to the matter in the future.

The hearing will continue before Justice Datuk Rosilah Yop on May 30.


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