Monday 22 Jul 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 6): Tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan and his company Berjaya Land Bhd have filed a defamation suit against blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin for reposting a defamatory speech by Kedah Menteri Besar (MB) Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor over the Selangor Maritime Gateway (SMG) project on Raja Petra’s Twitter (now known as X) and YouTube accounts.

Tan had filed a similar suit against Sanusi about six months ago.

Tan's lawyers from Messrs Pierre Chuah & Associates filed the suit against Raja Petra on Oct 5 last year at the Shah Alam High Court. However, they had to utilise substitute service by placing advertisements in newspapers late last month as Raja Petra is now based in the UK.

In the advertisement, Tan’s lawyers indicated that 73-year-old Raja Petra, or better known as RPK, needs to make an appearance in court within 14 days of the publication of the advertisement, otherwise judgement would be entered.

Tan and Berjaya Land claimed that the reposted speech in RPK’s Twitter and YouTube accounts implies that Tan and the company had engaged in corrupt business and were cronies of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Selangor MB Datuk Seri Amirudin Shaari.

They claimed that the reposting also alleges that they had benefited directly or indirectly from the project, or received a free piece of land measuring 600 acres from the Selangor government and/or Amirudin for Tan’s own business venture.

Tan and Berjaya Land claimed that the reposting also suggests that they had given benefits to the Selangor MB or the state government in exchange for the free piece of land and had caused Selangor to lose or incur losses of RM180 million from the purported land.

The reposted speech also implies that Tan and Berjaya Land had benefited under the Selangor MB; had acted illegally; had unlawfully, unjustly and unduly profited by receiving monies in connection to the free piece of land; and had defrauded the Selangor state, causing it to suffer losses, they claimed.

They also claimed that the reposting of the speech also suggests that Tan and the company were unscrupulous, dishonest and unethical in conducting their business and were of ill-repute.

Tan and Berjaya Land denied claims

Tan and Berjaya Land in the statement of claim alleged that such notions about them are completely false and untrue as there is no such purported sale.

In actual fact, a special purpose vehicle called Landasan Lumayan Berjaya Sdn Bhd (LLBSB) was formed through a joint venture between Menteri Besar Incorporated subsidiary Landasan Lumayan Sdn Bhd (45%) and Berjaya Land's subsidiary Berjaya Hartanah Bhd (55%) to, among others, clean and develop the Klang River, they said.

Tan and Berjaya Land said LLBSB employed property development to focus on affordable housing projects as a means to generate revenue to fund and sustain vital river cleaning initiatives under the SMG project.

The SMG project initiative, they claimed, was recognised by the Green World Awards 2023 for its efforts in cleaning the Klang River, and the SMG project to rehabilitate the Klang River is deemed successful in improving the water quality of the river from class 4 to class 2 now.

Tan and Berjaya Land denied obtaining or being awarded any 600-acre land valued at RM10 billion when in fact only several parcels of land totalling 103.6 acres, identified as feasible for development and granted approval for alienation, were given to LLBSB with specific conditions.

Sanusi is facing another suit over "slanderous" speech from the Selangor MB, and cost of the action from RPK for slander.

Prior to this, Tan and Berjaya Land had filed a suit against Sanusi, while Amirudin had filed a separate suit following the allegations made by the Kedah MB.

Edited ByIsabelle Francis
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