Ex-MP: Police probe against me for FB post on Guan Eng’s son is clear abuse of power

(FMT) – A former MP has accused police of “abuse of power” for investigating him over a Facebook post in which he took potshots at a minister’s son for his clothes.

Former Nibong Tebal MP Tan Tee Beng today said he was willing to face any civil suit by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, but protested against the police action against him.

Tan had questioned Lim’s son for wearing a designer jacket in the hot weather while DAP grassroots members were busy selling the party newsletter, The Rocket.

Speaking to FMT, Tan said it was “weird” for police to pursue a case which allegedly involved defamatory remarks.

The matter could have been settled through a civil suit, he added.

“How can police be involved in such a matter? This is a clear-cut case of abuse of power by police in acting in a matter which can be settled through a civil suit,” he said.

Tan also disagreed with a lawyer’s suggestion that the police probe against him was under Section 500 of the Penal Code for criminal defamation.

He said criminal defamation typically constituted a criminal case brought by the government against an individual.

Lim had shared a picture of Lim and his family on a flight to Australia. Social media users had then praised Lim for travelling in economy class.

In that picture, Lim’s son was seen wearing what appeared to be a Givenchy jacket.

It was accompanied by a screenshot from an online designer clothing shop which put the cost of the Givenchy jacket at £1,180 (RM6,200). However, it is not known if the jacket worn by Lim’s son was actually a Givenchy.

Earlier, lawyer SN Nair had said Tan’s post could be defamatory by means of innuendo as he was “implying and imputing” that Lim’s son was wearing an expensive designer jacket while Lim and his family were flying in economy class.

He said this could lead to a public perception that Lim was involved in a “political farce” and was being pretentious.

However, other lawyers said the police action was an affront to freedom of expression.