Penang opposition leader sues Guan Eng for calling her ‘racist’


(The Malay Mail) – Penang opposition leader Datuk Jahara Hamid filed a defamation suit today against Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng at the Penang High Court here for calling her a “racist” last December.

The Teluk Air Tawar state assemblyman alleged that Lim had tarnished her image as a state assemblyman with his statement accusing her of being a “racist” and a “malicious liar” during a press conference on December 9 last year.

“When he called me a racist, it is very damaging to me and my position as a state assemblyman and it affected my relationship with my constituents,” Jahara told a press conference at her service centre after the suit was filed.

The Umno state liaison committee member said she had demanded that Lim retract his remarks but the latter allegedly refused to do so.

“That is why I decided to file this suit against him to demand that he issue a public apology for calling me a racist which is very damaging to me,” she said.

Lim had in a press conference last December called Jahara a “racist grandmother” while denying Jahara’s allegations that the local government had practised selective enforcement on illegal traders.

Jahara had raised the selective enforcement issue at the state legislative assembly but Lim responded to her allegations in a press conference outside the assembly.

Following criticism that his use of the “racist grandmother” label was sexist, Lim retracted the label but maintained that he still considered Jahara a “racist” and a “malicious liar”.

“I have been a state representative for 18 years, being labelled as a “racist” is very damaging to me as the Opposition leader in Penang and he was merely doing this to score political points,” Jahara said.

She said the suit, which only demanded that Lim publicly apologise and retract his statements against her, is her way of overcoming such “bad politics”.

Jahara is also seeking an injunction against Lim and his agents to stop him and them from calling her a “racist” and “malicious liar”.

Once the statement of claim is served on Lim, he will have two weeks to file his statement of defence and the court will fix a date to hear the case.