DAP chairman Lim Guan Eng is planning to sue Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman for claiming that he turned the Ministry of Finance into a Chinese temple when he was holding the office.
Speaking at a press conference at the Penang DAP headquarters, he said he has instructed his lawyers to issue a letter of demand to Tajuddin for his slanderous comments made during a live interview with Sinar Harian last week.
“I have to sue him for defamation because what he said is slanderous. I am not only claiming for an apology, maybe for more than that, but because the slander was on a national platform,” he said.
He added that he is also considering to lodge a police report, but he doubts if the police would even investigate the matter.
During the live interview, Tajuddin claimed that the Ministry of Finance (MOF) had suffered racial discrimination under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) governance from 2018 to 2020. He also claimed that the former finance minister had expelled many Malay officials and decorated the MOF premise as if it was a Chinese temple.
Responding to the accusations, Lim said no staff wore shorts to work.
As for the lanterns, he explained that the ministry only put them up during the Chinese New Year celebration, just like they did for Hari Raya and Deepavali, by decorating the premise with ketupat and kolam.
“The decorations were only for festive seasons and were not permanent features,” he said.
Race and religion card still in play
Lim then expressed his regret that racial and religious issues were once again being used as weapons during this 15th General Election (GE15).
“We should be focusing on the economy and the drop in the value of the ringgit that affected the people’s livelihood and costs of living instead,” he said.
Meanwhile, he also condemns political leaders like Tajuddin and Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang for playing racial and religious cards to gain support.
“We have to move forward and away from racial and religious extremism but focus instead on the economy and the future of our people,” he said.
Lim then urged the young voters, who now comprise about 51.4% of the country’s registered voters to reject parties who continue to play the race and religion game.
“The world is changing, and some politicians continue to be stuck in the old ways of depending on race and religion to deliver the votes, when the focus should be on the economy,” he said.