PETALING JAYA • Veteran opposition leader Lim Kit Siang said the Democratic Action Party (DAP) intends to sue a "senior political leader" for claiming it was offered RM1.2 billion (S$393.5 million) by Israel in exchange for building a naval base in Malaysia for use by Tel Aviv, should it win the general election.
The claim was made last week by Mr Mohd Zuhdi Marzuki, research director at an institute owned by Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS). The accusation of ties between the Chinese-based DAP and Israel, which has no diplomatic ties with Muslim-majority Malaysia, comes at a sensitive time for the party.
Last week, a DAP Perak leader was widely chided for condemning the government after it denied visas to two Israeli athletes due to take part in an international sailing event in Langkawi.
The threat to sue by Mr Lim, who is an MP and adviser to the DAP, is set to deepen animosity between the DAP and its former ally PAS.
"Senior political leaders... who lied about the DAP, like the one who made the preposterous allegation about the DAP being offered RM1.2 billion in exchange for an Israeli naval base in Port Dickson, will have to pay the heavy price for such baseless and reckless allegations in the courts," he wrote on his blog yesterday. "I expect DAP lawyers to initiate legal proceedings in a day or two."
Mr Lim said political leaders should not be allowed to "just get away with lies or the most preposterous allegations", or seek refuge by claiming they were merely recycling stories that they heard.
PAS' Mr Mohd Zuhdi, contacted by the Malay Mail Online yesterday, said: "I have no comment. They have a right to sue anybody."
He declined to say if he was sticking by his initial claims.
Mr Zuhdi had claimed that the alleged plan to build the base for Israel was made by a former aide to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, the DAP secretary-general.
DAP's Perak economy bureau chief, Mr Chong Zhemin, was chided last week after accusing Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin of denying visas to two Israeli athletes in the Youth Sailing World Championship based on personal sentiment. Mr Chong was reminded by government officials, and also by DAP ally Parti Amanah Negara, that Malaysia is a strong supporter of the Palestinian cause and does not have diplomatic ties with Israel.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK