Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Guan Eng Lwn Nasruddin: Liang Teck Meng, Dakwaan Nasaruddin Benar?

Tindakan Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang, Lim Guan Eng yang menarik balik saman terhadap Ahli Parlimen PAS Temerloh, Nasrudin Hassan menimbulkan tanda tanya kata Datuk Liang Teck Meng, Setiausaha Agung Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia.
Menurutnya, tindakan Lim yang menarik balik saman itu seolah-olah mengesahkan bahawa dakwaan yang dibuat oleh Nasruddin sebelum ini adalah benar.
Jelasnya, Nasruddin banyak membuat dakwaan yang serius, namun Lim hanya mempertikaikan isu urusan tender projek terowong dasar laut itu sahaja.
Soalnya, adakah ini bermaksud semua dakwaan Nasruddin yang lain yang tidak dipertikaikan Lim adalah benar.
Press statement from Liang Teck Meng
25th January 2016
I refer to the defamation case settlement reached last week between YAB Chief Minister of Penang Lim Guan Eng with PAS’ Information Chief and MP for Temerloh Yang Berhormat Nasrudin Hassan.
Media reports had said that the defamation settlement had been reached with Nasrudin Hassan reading a statement in court that he has expressed regret and only withdrew a portion of his allegations against Lim Guan Eng related to whether the controversial Penang Tunnel project was awarded via direct negotiation or open tender.
Nasrudin Hassan was also asked to pay RM10,000 in costs to Lim Guan Eng.
Nasrudin Hassan’s lawyer Wan Rohimi Wan Daud and a follow-up statement by Nasrudin Hassan had also confirmed that the portion of his allegations that was withdrawn was related to a confusion over terminology of open tender, direct negotiations or a Request for Proposal (RFP).
Nasrudin Hassan had claimed that the project was awarded based on direct negotiations while Lim Guan Eng had disputed this and said it was an open tender but it appears that it was neither and the project was awarded based on a RFP exercise instead.
In his statement, Nasrudin Hassan is adamant that he has not apologized nor defamed Lim Guan Eng and he stands firm on his 8 Aug 2014 statement titled “”Terowong Dasar Laut – Penjelasan Tuduhan Fitnah”.
Nasrudin Hassan had also said that it was Lim Guan Eng’s lawyers who had approached him several times urging him to settle out of court.
These desperate approaches to Nasrudin Hassan and Lim Guan Eng’s acceptance of a small RM10,000 cost award without any award for damages, runs counter to Lim Guan Eng’s past track record of pursuing court cases towards its conclusion and his previous awards of hundreds of thousands of ringgit damages.
This out-of-the ordinary behaviour from YAB CM Lim Guan Eng had certainly raised eyebrows from many observers.
Other than the open tender vs direct nego claims that Nasrudin has now withdrawn, Nasrudin had made other serious allegations against Lim Guan Eng in Aug 2014 which includes:
1. The Penang Tunnel did not hold sufficient public consultations before approving the Penang Tunnel project
2. The Penang Tunnel project including the related highways at RM6.3 billion is highly overpriced.
3. The Penang State Govt has been running operational budget deficits for many years and only registered an overall budget surpluses with a huge increase in sale of increasingly scarce Penang state land.
4. That DAP was hypocrittical for attacking former Selangor MB Khalid Ibrahim for the KIDEX highway project on the excuse that tolled highways were against Pakatan Manifesto while the Penang government had allowed for a 30 years toll concession for the Penang tunnel project.
I note that media reports and Nasrudin Hassan suggest that the above allegations were not withdrawn in the RM10,000 court settlement.
Specifically, the allegation from Nasrudin Hassan that suggest that the Penang state government in masking a big jump in operating budget deficits by increasingly selling off whatever remaining state assets in the form of Penang state land is serious as this is not a sustainable nor responsible financial governance model.
The Auditor-General Office past years audits on Penang government finances seems to support Nasrudin’s views of increasing land sales to fund a growing state operating deficit.
As these allegations by Nasrudin Hassan are serious and will affect the future financial security of Penang and the well-being of the Penang rakyat, I urge Lim Guan Eng to come clean on his court settlement arrangement.
He must confirm whether the other serious allegations by Nasrudin Hassan were similarly withdrawn.
If they are not withdrawn or addressed by his settlement with Nasraudin, does YAB Lim Guan Eng tacitly admit that these allegations are correct?
Liang Teck Meng
Member of Parliament for Simpang Renggam.
Secretary General for Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia.

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