Thursday, May 6, 2021

I never supported headscarf ban, Guan Eng says in suit against PAS man

The former Penang chief minister says Razman Zakaria's Facebook post was defamatory, offensive, misleading and untrue.

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Former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng told the High Court in George Town yesterday that the Facebook post uploaded and shared by Perak PAS commissioner Razman Zakaria implied that he did not respect Islam.

Lim, who was testifying in his suit against Razman over a link to a fake image on the latter’s Facebook page, said the post was defamatory, offensive, misleading and untrue.

“The slanderous statement that I supported a policy prohibiting Muslim hotel workers from wearing headscarves while working affected my position and reputation as an individual and also as Penang chief minister at the time,” he said, reading from his witness statement before judicial commissioner Amarjeet Singh.

Lim also denied making any statement during his tenure as chief minister supporting any policy prohibiting Muslim women hotel employees at reception counters from wearing headscarves.

The former finance minister said the defendant as an experienced politician holding a high position in his party should be aware of the adverse consequences that might arise from the defamatory statement.

On Jan 22, 2018, Lim filed a suit against Razman for uploading a fake image on his social media account and posting a statement on Nov 18, 2017 that Lim said was defamatory, false and malicious.

Razman said in his post that Lim appeared to support a ban on headscarves although it was the right of hotel workers to wear them, and that Penang too was in full support of it.

In his statement of claim, Lim said the words used in Razman’s post were from an unauthentic source and aimed at tarnishing his name and reputation, and portraying him as a leader who had no respect for Islam and Malay culture.

Lim is seeking general, exemplary and aggravated damages, and other relief deemed fit by the court.

He is also applying for an order to prevent Razman from issuing or publishing the post again on any platform.

The court set Nov 5 for oral submissions by both parties.

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