Sunday, November 20, 2011
Tony Pua says Datuk Ameer Ali Mydin can sue if he is unhappy over remarks by the DAP publicity chief concerning allegedly substandard Kedai Rakyat 1 Malaysia goods, The Malay Mail reported today.
“Sue me if you are not happy with my statements or claims. Take me to court if you have to,” the Petaling Jaya Utara MP told the daily.
Kedai Rakyat is a chain of government-backed thrift shops run by local hypermarket operator Mydin Mohamad Holdings Bhd, which is headed by Ameer.
Pua claimed earlier this month that tests by two certified laboratories had detected the presence of E. coli and a higher than permitted amount of coliform in the own-brand fresh milk sold at Kedai Rakyat 1 Malaysia outlets.
Strains of E. coli can cause food poisoning if ingested by humans.
He also claimed the 1 Malaysia Growing Up Milk Powder did not contain at least 15 of the legally required nutrients and carried 6,012 international units (IU) of Vitamin A per 100kcal — 802 per cent above the permissible limit.
However, Pua said that he would not give the test findings to Mydin or the Health Ministry as copies of the report had already been provided to the media.
“Why should I submit my findings to Ameer or the Health Ministry? I’m sure they have got them,” he said, adding that Ameer was trying to divert attention from the test results by demanding Pua furnish proof of his claims.
Responding to Pua’s challenge, Ameer told The Malay Mail he was not keen on taking the matter to court as that would generate publicity for the DAP lawmaker’s allegations.
“It is not impossible to sue him but he is a politician and he wants the publicity. If I take him to court, he would be happy as he can get free publicity from the media,” he said.
“Why should I do that? As an MP, Pua has a responsibility to the people to come forward with what he had supposedly found.”
Mydin had yet to receive a single complaint from the public regarding their products, Ameer also stressed.
He added that tests conducted by the Health Ministry on Kedai Rakyat growing up milk powder identified by Pua would be revealed tomorrow.
Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers have accused the government of taking advantage of the poor by selling them “substandard products” at Kedai Rakyat 1 Malaysia, launched in June by Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
The prime minister launched the first of three shops now operating in the Klang Valley in response to rising inflation, which hit a two-year high of 3.5 per cent that same month.
Kedai Rakyat offers 250 generic products like rice, oil, flour, bread, eggs, milk powder and diapers at prices 30 to 40 per cent lower than market rates, as well as branded goods.
The government plans to set up more outlets in other locations, similar to the 1 Malaysia clinics the Najib administration has established in states like Sabah and Sarawak.