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Friday, July 14, 2017

Gerakan Youth leaders seal lips in silent protest

Penang Gerakan Youth leaders held a silent protest at the party’s headquarters in Jalan Macalister today to condemn the DAP-led government’s alleged attempt to stifle freedom of speech.
The youth leaders, wearing white ribbons pinned on their shirts, carried A3 sized posters with slogans “Demise of freedom of speech and press freedom” and "Dead of CAT (competency, accountability, and transparency) principles”.
They staged a silent show, with stickers taped to their lips, which carried the message “DAP wants to seal my mouth”.
The party’s acting youth chief Jason Loo (pic above) also held up two legal notices sent to him by Chief Minister-cum-DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng during the protest.
Accompanying Loo at the event were youth assistant treasurer Tan Chin Heong, vice-chief Puvaniten Helan Goven, youth committee member Yeoh Khoon Wei and member Lim Yi Fan.
After the protest, Loo distributed a statement to the press and left the room.
In the statement, Loo explained that the two notices, dated June 23, were sent to him and two Chinese newspapers over the state government’s sale of a plot of land in Peel Avenue to a private firm, Island Hospital Penang, to build an extension wing.
Guan Eng said the sale did not go through an open tender as it is considered a foreign direct investment.
The first notice involves Loo’s comment in Chinese daily Guang Ming in the article “Jason Loo urges Guan Eng to explain why sell Lebuhraya Peel land sold prior to (being) gazetted”, which was published in the daily on May 29.
The second notice is related to Loo’s remarks in the China Press over the article “Jason Loo: One man decide, Pakatan Harapan and DAP-led state government run by rule of one man” which was also published on May 29.
Guan Eng had refuted the claims, saying the entity - Chief Minister Incorporation - had approved the sale of the Peel Avenue land. He added that the decision was made by a committee comprising the state executive councillors and the state secretariat.
The chief minister, who has strongly denied Loo’s comment in the two reports, claimed the articles were “false and defamatory”.
He claimed that the articles cast “severe aspersions” on his character and reputation, that he has been brought into public scandal, odium, contempt, and ridicule as a senior politician, statesman, MP, chief minister and in his personal capacity.
Guan Eng demanded that the articles be retracted, and an apology, which has been approved by him, published prominently in the newspapers.
He also asked Loo to state the sum the latter is prepared to pay the chief minister as damages for causing his reputation “injury, embarrassment, harm, distress” within seven days of the notice.
Loo was also asked to inform Guan Eng in writing within 24 hours of the notice if he (Loo) is not the author of the alleged defamatory articles or face court action.
Loo said the notices are an attempt to seal his mouth and stop him from questioning, and it is another case of the death of the CAT principle.
He claimed this was yet another clear example of the demise of freedom of speech and press freedom in Penang.
But Loo vowed not to be intimidated by such actions, saying he will continue to voice out for the people of Penang.
“I will continue to speak out on the Peel Avenue land sale until the truth prevails,” Loo said in a statement.

“The questions the people of Penang should ponder are, is there an attempt to cover up by stopping me from questioning?”.
“Is the DAP state government afraid to face the people of Penang with truth? Is this the real” Ubah” the people of Penang had wanted it to be?”
“Let us rise to save Penang for being sold out!”.
Loo told Malaysiakini later that he had replied to the two notices on July 7, and denied the claims that he had made defamatory statements.- Mkini

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