By Joseph Tawie
Taib Mahmud’s dismissal of the opposition’s successes in Sarawak is a denial that BN’s influence is eroding.
Taib claimed that Chong had uttered defamatory words against him “inside and outside” the State Legislative Assembly and is demanding that the DAP assemblyman apologise.
But Chong says he won’t and is prepared to be sued because he has “evidence” to back his allegations against Taib.
“I will not apologise to Taib Mahmud as he is making a sweeping statement that is not worth entertaining.
“Why should I apologise because there is nothing to apologise. Taib did not say which statement he was referring to,” Chong told reporters here.
Taib had earlier issued an ultimatum to Chong, who is the also the Sarawak DAP secretary and MP for Bandar Kuching, to apologise within three months failing or face legal action.
Said Taib after the assembly sitting was adjourned yesterday: “He (Chong) must be aware of what he had said about me, and I leave it to his good conscience to decide if he would withdraw those false and malicious allegations and duly apologies.”
Pointing out that he had no alternative, if Chong refused to apologise, Taib added: “Actually I hate to do this, and I have been tolerant, but I have my dignity.
“It is not a political gimmick. This is done on my personal capacity because what he had been saying about me taking government money, billions of ringgit, that is very damaging.
“If he apologises, I can let him off, but hope he does not do anymore after that, because if he does he has got to bear all the consequences.”
‘We gained seats’
Responding to Taib’s threat, Chong said he will retract his statements.
“I will not retract any statement or apologise to Taib. Whatever statements I made are based on facts from the records of Land and Survey Department, Registrar of Companies and official reports,” Chong said.
Chong also said that Taib could say that the state BN had won more than two-thirds of parliamentary seats in Sarawak, but Taib could not deny the fact the opposition had won six parliamentary seats as compared with one or two seats in the previous election.
“He can say all he wants, but there are two facts which he cannot deny. One is that we gained six seats in the last general election.
“In the last state election, the opposition won 15 seats. The trend now is moving towards a more balanced political landscape.
“Secondly, the BN has been literally wiped out in areas populated by the well-informed, highly educated voters. They have no match for us and these are the two facts they cannot deny,” Chong said. – Malaysiakini