Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has sent English daily The Star a demand letter over a column today said to be defamatory towards him.
"I have instructed my lawyers to send a legal notice of demand for defamation against The Star and its columnist Joceline Tan for its false and misleading report today, 'Snap election for Penang?'."
Lim said the article said "nothing new" but Tan "clearly crossed the line, and was made in bad faith to smear my reputation and image with fresh and baseless allegations of impropriety”.
He said this was not the first time Tan and the daily had defamed him, citing a suit in 2012 in which The Star eventually apologised.
The present article, he said, follows a pattern of media attacks against him.
"BN-controlled media like The Star had persistently demonised and continued their character assassination against me after two trumped-up charges of corruption were filed against me by the attorney-general on June 30, 2016," said the DAP secretary-general in a statement.
"In the past four months, the BN-controlled print and broadcasting media had gone into overdrive with their systematic campaign of character assassination against me by hurling unfounded allegations of corruption involving the sale by open tender of one acre of Taman Manggis land.
"Despite nightly TV reports and acres of newsprint on Taman Manggis land, no corruption charge was filed against me relating to Taman Manggis," said Lim.
However, he said, he was eventually charged with a matter unrelated to the said land.
"Such dirty tricks continue with more false allegations on other matters."
The article quoted sources saying that a veteran leader mooted the idea of a snap poll at the central executive committee (CEC) meeting on the day Lim was charged in court.
The article also claimed Lim and his father, DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang, did not favour a snap poll for various reasons.
It also quoted an unnamed Penang lawyer who questioned if Lim would able to get a mandate equivalent to that in 2013 general election.
The article also mooted that the educated class in Penang were uncomfortable with Lim's authoritarian leadership style.