Politics

Health minister’s suit to proceed if NGO refuses to apologise, pay RM30m

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba (pic) is seeking RM30 million in damages and a public apology from the Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism.

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR – May 15, 2020: Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Adham Baba has no intention of caving in to the demand of critics who want him to stop going after the Centre to Combat, Corruption and Cronyism (C4) over its allegedly defamatory article.

His lawyer Nasser Yusof today maintained that Adham will sue C4 if it does not reply and adhere to his client’s letter of demand within seven days. Adham is seeking RM30 million in damages and a public apology from C4.

“My client’s demands are clear. Reply within seven days…. if not we’ll draft a suit and file it in court,” said Nasser.

C4 had, on Monday, published an article linking Adham to a company currently under probe by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission over an alleged abuse of power in a government procurement supposedly worth RM30 million.

The next day Adham denied having any ties with the company and served the NGO with the letter.

Several political bloggers such as Syed Akbar Ali have also taken down their blog posts that chimed in C4’s allegations.

Yesterday, a group of 39 NGOs demanded an immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the letter and accused Adham of harassing C4, claiming that it was nothing more than an attempt to intimidate and silence critics.

When asked about this, Nasser argued that his client has the right as anyone else to defend himself from being defamed.

“If (DAP politicians) Teresa Kok and Yeo Bee Yin, when they were ministers, could sue Datuk Jamal [Yunos] (of the Sungai Besar Umno division) for defamation, why can’t my client do the same to clear his name?

“Mind you that what my client is doing right now is provided by the law,” pointed out Nasser.

While C4 has until next Monday to respond, its latest tweet reiterated that its article has no element of defamation, adding that it only raised questions on transparency, accountability and good governance.

“What Adam needs to do is address the crowd, explain and clarify,” said the tweet.

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Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

If Zaidi Azmi isn’t busy finding his way in the city, this 26-year-old northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make sense of the Malaysian political scene. Zaidi can be reached at zaidiazmi91@gmail.com.