BALING MP Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim will take legal action against parties that defame him by linking him to the Penang undersea tunnel and highway project.

The Umno Supreme Council member was recently accused of receiving RM3 million from the project’s contractor for consultancy services that were not delivered.

He was reportedly served a notice of demand recently.

However, it has since been revealed Azeez was a victim of “name-dropping”, a situation that has led him to “suffer character assassination ahead of the general election”, he said.

“Many opposition leaders have hurled accusations against me, Tabung Haji and Umno  ,” he said at a press conference at Tabung Haji Hotel in Penang today

“Tabung Haji and Umno have nothing to do with this but the institutions have been dragged into the attacks against me.”

Azeez is chairman of Tabung Haji, the Malaysian hajj pilgrims fund board.

Azeez said allegations that he received money from Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd led to many slamming him and Umno, and questioning whether he is qualified to head Tabung Haji.

“People are now saying Umno is the one getting money but some other party is being bashed for it. They are also asking if Azeez is qualified to lead Tabung Haji. In Baling, people are saying I accepted a bribe.

“This is character assassination, as my lawyer is telling me. We are so close to the general election now… of course, there will probably be more attacks against me and Umno.”

Azeez said while obviously not a friend of his political rivals that did not give them a right to slander him, especially in the age of social media where such matters could turn viral quickly.

“I must clear my name. First and foremost, I must protect Tabung Haji’s name.

“I will sue those we have slandered me, Tabung Haji and Umno. I will do it according to the law. I will fight until my last drop of blood.”

Azeez also showed a letter received by his lawyer Messrs Jahaberdeen and Co on March 3 from Consortium Zenith’s law firm Syahrul and Hamidi.

The company apologised to him over the error, acknowledging that a businessman had used Azeez’s name, leading it to believe that the businessman represented Azeez.

In view of that, Syahrul and Hamidi informed Azeez’s lawyer that the notice of demand against him has been retracted and withdrawn.

Consortium Zenith’s lawyer also stated that the company had no intention to defame him or to cast malicious insinuations on him.

Consortium Zenith won an open tender to build the undersea tunnel and highway project in Penang in 2013. The project is now subject of a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission probe.