Health Minister demands apology, RM30mil damages from C4 over allegation

(NST) – Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba is seeking an apology from the Center to Combat Corruption & Cronyism (C4 Center) and for it to pay him RM30 million in damages within the next seven days.

The demand from the non-governmental organisation is over its allegations linking him to the ministry’s contract for supply of Covid-19 equipment.

Dr Adham’s lawyer Nasser Yusof had gone to serve the notice at the C4 Center office here today but found the premises closed and instead pasted it on the office door.

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Nasser said he would proceed to file a suit against C4 Center if it fails to meet the demands in the notice.

He said it was over C4 Center’s action in publishing a press release, with the title “Health Minister Adham Baba Must Come Clean on MOF’s RM30 Million Procurement Scandal” on its website on May 11, which the minister claimed was defamatory and damaged his reputation.

“My client is seeking RM30 million in damages, unconditional written apology, apology through social media, apology through media conference and it should also be posted on the C4 Center website.

“He is also seeking C4 Center to retract the allegations and to stop issuing any statements on the matter, either verbally, through media statements, video or website posting,” he said.

Nasser said if the demand was not complied within seven days, then they would not hesitate to file a suit in the High Court.

“We will let the court decide which party is right,” he said.

On Monday, the Health Ministry in a statement said the allegation that Dr Adham had links with the Khazanah Jaya Sdn Bhd (KJSB) company which obtained an emergency procurement contract for the implementation of ‘Lab Maligation Solution For Covid-19’ was false, malicious and amounted to character assassination.

The ministry stressed that Dr Adham never had any business interest in KJSB, or links to its shareholders, nor did he direct any ministry official to approve the award of the contracts to KJSB or any company.

Nasser explained that the statement linking Dr Adham with a proxy for obtaining the tender and implying an element of corruption had seriously affected his reputation.

“The claim made by Dr Adham today is to provide input to outsiders and members of the community out there that he is a person of integrity and will deal accordingly with the accusers.

“We will also consider making a police report but because the matter is more of a civil issue we will submit notice of claim at the court. After all, it does not involve criminal element and we do not want to burden the police with such issues,” he said.