GEORGE TOWN, Aug 7, 2014:
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has given PAS’ Nasrudin Hassan Tantawi 24 hours to clarify an allegation he made with regard to the Penang undersea tunnel project and claiming that Penang has recorded deficits six years in a row or risk facing a legal suit.
Calling the issue a form of unprovoked attack, Lim described the statements made by Nasrudin, who is also the Temerloh Member of Parliament, as no different with that made by an Umno member.
“It is very clear that Umno’s dirty tactics have been employed in creating these lies against the Penang government, and I will just treat him as an Umno member as he is no different from them as he already sounds like one,” said a visibly upset Lim at a press conference in Komtar here today.
Asked if he thought Nasrudin’s action showed inclination of the latter to being part of the Barisan Nasional’s component party, Lim said he would leave it to the public to make conclusions.
He said if Nasrudin was a good Muslim and not a hypocrite, he should retract his statement and apologise if the latter did not want to be likened to those in Umno.
He further berated Nasruddin by denying he had ever made any public remarks on the Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex) project.
“Let me state here that I have never made any public comments on the Kidex project or its direct negotiation award, and neither had Nasruddin communicated with me on Penang government matters.
“I have no interest in playing along with Nasrudin’s political games of supporting Kidex, but I am making this rebuttal because of the lies made by a fellow PR MP that has severely tarnished my reputation and my state government’s standing,” said Lim.
Asked whether the matter would affect the relationship between PAS and DAP, Lim was quick to point out that it was an issue between the Penang government and Nasruddin, and did not involve both political parties.
“I will not allow just one person to affect the relationship between PAS and DAP,” added Lim.
He also denied possibilities of there being a rift and the possibility of it souring the relationship between the two Pakatan Rakyat component parties
Previously, Nasruddin had questioned the reason behind attacks against Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim with regards to the Kidex Highway issue when the undersea tunnel project issue in Penang, which is ruled by a DAP-led government, had never been raised.Nasruddin had reportedly said the project was bound to worsen traffic congestion, an already existing problem in Penang, and raised doubts over its implementation of the project when the state had recorded a deficit in its budget six years in a row.
“Nasrudin has lied because the undersea tunnel project was awarded through open tender and not through direct negotiation, and it costs RM3.6 billion and not RM4.63 billion as claimed.
“He had further lied because the Penang government under PR had never recorded a single year of budget deficit, but recorded budgetary surpluses instead.
“The budget surpluses were certified not by me, but by the yearly Auditor-General Report, ” said Lim, while showing a copy of the report to the press.
Lim said the lies by Nasrudin were the same as that made by pro-BN and pro-Umno social media cyber troopers.
“If Nasrudin caims to be a good Muslim who is not amunafik(hypocrite), then he should withdraw his lies and apologise to me within 24 hours.
“Should he fail to do so, he is behaving dishonourably and is no different from Umno, and I will be left with no choice but to treat him like a BN opponent by instructing my lawyers to take legal action for defamation and for spreading blatant slander and lies against me and the Penang government, ” he added.
Meanwhile, Consortium Zenith BUCG Sdn Bhd chairman Datuk Zarul Ahmad Zulkifli, who was also present, said he was at a loss for words over Nasrudin’s statements and could not think of a reason why he would make such baseless claims.
“I don’t know why he made such baseless claims despite us informing time and again that the project was awarded via open tender.
“Could it be because he wants to bully the Penang Chief Minister just because Lim is a Chinese?”