Assistant minister to sue Warisan leaders for defamation

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Assistant Finance Minister Ramlee Marhaban will sue Parti Warisan Sabah vice- president Junz Wong and Youth chief Mohd Azis Jamman for defamation and intrusion.

Speaking to FMT, Ramlee said the persistent provocations by the duo forced him to take the drastic decision.

The Warisan leaders issued a statement last week questioning how Ramlee, who is also Bugaya assemblyman, could own a palatial mansion in Kampung Kuala Dua, Putatan, on his salary as an assistant minister.

Semporna Umno Youth exco member Norsadin Shamsuddin had explained that Ramlee built the house long before he entered politics after he made his fortune in business under his company Pemborong Sara Sdn Bhd.

However, that answer did not satisfy Wong, who said a check with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) did not return any information about the company.

Ramlee said his supporters had lodged police reports against them because it was obvious they had “bad intentions” against him.

“This is a really desperate attempt from Warisan, I think because they want to get back at me after throngs of Warisan members in Semporna joined Umno,” he said.

Ramlee said he did not deny he was a government servant before he became a politician, having served in the customs department, then becoming a teacher and he went on to become an officer at the labour department.

He said his involvement in business started in 1990 in the agricultural industry before moving on to the construction industry.

“Among other successful businessmen in town, I am well-known. Just ask any one of them. I am not like certain people who have nothing but talk big,” he said.

After he won the Bugaya seat in 2008, Ramlee said he chose to slow down his business activities but remained in the company.

However, in 2012, he decided to resign from the company and gave it away because he wanted to focus on his duties as assemblyman.

“If a company is dormant after several years, of course you cannot find its information any more on the SSM because the information is not updated.”

A simple search on the Internet, he said, would reveal that the company did exist and was even mentioned in the Bloomberg website.

Ramlee believed the attacks against him by Warisan were because of his revelations about Warisan president Shafie Apdal, which might have touched a nerve or two.

Nevertheless, he said, the attacks did not affect him in any way although he would still sue the individuals for trying to tarnish his name, particularly in the social media and attempting to get the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) involved.

“I think because he (Azis) has worn the orange shirt (MACC lockup shirt), and so has his boss, which is why they are angry. They used a drone to take photos (of his mansion), that is intrusion.

“And then they spread lies about me, slandering me. By right, I don’t even have to explain anything to them. I leave it to my lawyer, we will talk in court,” he said. FMT