Lim challenges Teng to prove statements on Pulau Jerejak

GEORGE TOWN: Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has sent a letter of demand to Penang Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Teng Chang Yeow over a Nov 16 news report on the Pulau Jerejak issue.

In the Nov 25 notice of action for defamation, Lim claimed the article contains statements which were false and defamatory and had cast severe aspersions against his character and reputation.

The letter told Teng to prove the authenticity of his quotes and statements as published in the report and to reveal the identity of the person or persons referred in the article as "reliable PDC (Penang Development Corporation) sources".

Lim disclosed his move at the PDC Christmas and New Year Open House today while copies of his legal letter were also distributed to the media.

He said said the matter could not be dismissed as it involved the duties of the state government.

"I have instructed my lawyers to send a letter of demand to him (Teng)," he said in his speech.

When contacted by reporters for a response, Teng said he will call for a press conference tomorrow.

Pulau Jerejak came under the spotlight after PDC sold its 49% stake in Tropical Island Resort Sdn Bhd (TIRSB), a 1997 joint venture between PDC and UDA Holdings Berhad, to a subsidiary of Ideal Properties for RM156 million this year.

Teng had questioned why the stake was sold as he claimed there was a RM220 million profit guarantee deal on the table in Dec 2013 but PDC has denied there was such an offer.

Earlier in his speech, Lim said his administration was focused on creating economic catalysts in view of the bleak economic outlook.

He said these sectors the state was looking at included the arts, heritage and culture to be the next engines of growth.

"We want to make the arts, heritage and culture to spur the economy, letting the arts attract visitors and tourists can allow for good returns," he said.