Penang BN chief Teng Chang Yeow held a silent press conference today to highlight his situation after receiving a notice of demand from Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
He came to the media event with his lips sealed, with an "X" pasted on a face mask over his mouth.
He was flanked by state Gerakan secretary Oh Tong Keong and state acting youth chief Jason Loo.
The state Gerakan secretary sat for a few minutes without saying a word despite being questioned by reporters.
Before he left the event, he took off his mask, saying "Today, it is me, tomorrow it's you and the next day, it is the normal, common rakyat who will get the same".
Teng received the legal letter dated Nov 25 over his remarks on Pulau Jerejak, where he claimed that Lim had rejected a “profit guaranteed” deal involving Pulau Jerejak.
The remark was published in an article in The Star on Page 8, Nov 16, headlined “Pulau Jerejak Land Sale Questioned”.
The article was based on Teng’s press conference held on Nov 15 at the state Gerakan headquarters on Jalan Macalister.
The Star was also issued with a notice of demand for allegedly continuing to publish Teng’s claims.
The DAP secretary-general had strongly denied Teng's claims, describing it as "false and defamatory" and demanded that he show proof.
Lim also demanded that Teng reveal the full identity, particulars and address of person(s) referred to in the article as reliable PDC sources”.
Teng was asked to reply to the notice of demand within 48 hours” from the date of the notice.
Teng was also asked to publish a full retraction and apology in The Star, and the contents of it must be first approved by him.
He must also inform Lim of the sum he was prepared to pay the latter and for the “embarassment, harm and distress” caused to the CM within seven days of the notice.
Later, in a press statement, Teng confirmed receiving the legal notice from Lim.
He waited for Lim to go public on the matter before responding to it, he added.
Teng said Lim had reportedly expressed dismay when he mentioned about his legal notice to The Star before he himself made it public.
"I, therefore, reserved this honour for him, as he is very paranoid with how his news must be reported, especially by Chinese media, including the font’s size and which page his news must be published," Teng said.
"I understand that his media team is tasked to compare the size of his news appearing in Chinese newspapers and I was told that this is paid for by the state government budget which is the people's money," Teng alleged.
Teng said he viewed Lim's legal demand as an "intimidation" to stop him from dishing out more truths on Pulau Jerejak.
He claimed the legal notice was intended to send a message to others especially the NGOs from raising public interest issues.
"That they will also face the same legal action, if matters they raised are not to his liking".
Teng vowed not to be silenced by Lim's legal demand.
He urged NGOs to continue to speak out on issues of public importance and not to be intimidated by Lim's action against him (Teng).
He said his lawyer had responded to Lim's letter and would answer to all his complaints in court.
"I will continue to dish out new information on Pulau Jerejak and other land deals in the coming months," he vowed.