Generalissimo of Chinese Chauvinist Middle Malaysia Lim Guan Eng trial for corruption with regards to the approval of sale for the parcel in Kg Manggis and the private purchase of the detached house at 25 Jalan Pinhorn below market price, is comparable to the Nuremberg trial of 1946 against Nazi leaders.
The Straits Times story:
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng pleads not guilty to graft charges
PUBLISHED 9 HOURS AGOUPDATED 2 HOURS AGO
Lee Seok Hwai
Penang Chief Minister and prominent opposition leader Lim Guan Eng has pleaded not guilty to two graft-related offences on Thursday (June 30), Malaysian media reported, in a case that has jolted the country.
Mr Lim, 55, claimed trial to the charges related to his purchase of a bungalow at below-market-prices last year and improper change of state land use at the Penang High Court. He was then released on bail set at RM1 million (S$335,300).
The vocal critic of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak had been formally charged at the Penang Sessions Court on Thursday morning after three months of accusations by ruling Umno party leaders that he had bought his house last year at RM2.8 million (S$939,000) from a businesswoman with dealings with the state government, when the market value of the property was RM4.7 million.
He faces up to 20 year in jail if convicted under Section 23 of the Anti-Corruption Act and Section 165 of the Penal Code
The businesswoman who sold the bungalow to him was also charged under Section 109 of the Penal Code for abetting Lim to obtain a “valuable property” for RM2.5 million when it was valued at RM4.27 million.
“He obtained the property knowing that you have business dealings with the state government,” reads the charge.
Ms Phang also claimed trial and was given bail of RM200,000.
The High Court set case management for Sept 22, when it will consider whether to conduct a joint trial after perusing all the documents.
Pressmen, police stationed at George Town courthouse for LGE to be charged
Mr Lim, who has demanded Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak explain a massive financial scandal linked to state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), was arrested at his office on Wednesday by officers from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
After spending the night in MACC custody, he was taken to the court at 10am on Thursday in a motorcade of seven vehicles. He looked relaxed and was wearing his favourite red tie, Malaysiakini reported.
He smiled and told reporters, “I am alright”.
Inside the courtroom, he hugged his teary mother, sister Hui Ying, and wife Betty, who looked distraught, Malaysiakini reported. He also shook hands with his father Kit Siang, adviser of his Chinese-majority party Democratic Action Party (DAP).
Hours before the hearing, police had mounted roadblocks along the road before the MACC building leading to the Penang courthouse, resulting in long traffic jams. A police spokesman told The Star the measure was taken to ensure Mr Lim’s transfer from the MACC office to the court went smoothly.
The public gallery at the Penang Sessions Court was already filled to the brim with journalists, DAP supporters and other opposition politicians hours before Mr Lim’s arrival shortly after 10am.
Mr Lim has been chief minister of Penang since 2008 and has led the opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP) since 2004 as secretary-general.
Under Mr Lim’s leadership, Malaysia’s second-richest state has, by most accounts, been imbued with new vigour.
DAP is the most popular ethnic Chinese party in Malaysia. It won 38 seats in the federal Parliament in the 2013 general election, forming the second-largest single bloc of MPs after Umno’s 88 seats.
Mr Lim told a press conference after his court hearing on Thursday that he will stay in his job for now.
“For the time being, I will remain Penang Chief Minister. But the state DAP committee will have a meeting to decide,” he said after being released on bail. The party was due to hold an emergency meeting on Thursday afternoon.
Mr Lim is no stranger to state prosecution, having been jailed for 12 months in 1998 after being found guilty for sedition.
An angry opposition alleged that Mr Najib was behind the charges against Mr Lim, accusing the premier of mounting a political offensive and planning to call snap elections next year – one year ahead of schedule, Agence France-Presse reported.
Malaysia’s attorney general, Mohamed Apandi Ali, who cleared Mr Najib of wrongdoing over the 1MDB scandal in January, is leading the prosecution.
“The Najib administration is now abusing all its… power to politically persecute its leaders to cripple the opposition before the general election,” Mr Tony Pua, DAP national publicity chief said according to AFP.
Mr Najib faces allegations that billions of dollars were plundered from 1MDB. The accusations, which emerged last year, include the revelation that Najib received at least US$681 million in deposits to his personal bank accounts in 2013. Mr Najib and 1MDB deny any wrongdoing.
But Malaysia’s opposition has been unable to capitalise on the controversy, having been in disarray since the jailing of former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim for sodomy last year.
“I think the arrest of Lim Guan Eng (and the corruption charges) will hurt the opposition nationally as Lim is another charismatic figure,” Oh Ei Sun, senior fellow at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies told AFP.
Former Federal Court Judge appointed as Attorney General Tan Sri Apandi Ali short of a few days to his first year in AGC, is personally leading the charge to charge and prove beyond reasonable doubt Lim is guilty for the two counts of corruption.
It is a very prolific case involving the Executive of a State since MB Selangor Dato’ Harun Idris was charged for corruption in the 1970s. In 1997, Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib had to relinquish his post after he was charged in a Queensland court for attempting to take out AUD2.4million in cash, without authority approval.
Lim’s wife and Phang Li Khoon, who is the other person being charged pertaining to the case against Lim, are business partners. That very much crucified Lim against his own false political moral calls all these years.
Please read Miss Lim’s comprehensive take on the web of corrupt practices in the case.
It is very interesting to observe the reaction to this case. No one, even amongst Penangties, is actually standing up to cry “LGE is innocent”.
In the minds of many since the build up of the corrupt practices by Bukit Gelugor MP Dato Shahbudin in Dewan Rakyat, then Minister of Housing and Urban Wellness Dato’ Abdul Rahman Dahlan and former Batu Kawan MP Dato’ Huan Cheng Guan, whatever available against Lim is rather convincing.
This case is already affecting the DAP.
The Straits Times story:
Lim Guan Eng’s arrest divides opinion along party lines
Ms Phang Li Koon, who sold the land on which Mr Lim’s house stands, is accused of having business links with the state administration.
PUBLISHEDJUN 30, 2016, 5:00 AM SGT
GEORGE TOWN • Is Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng guilty?
It was clear on social media yesterday how divided Malaysians were over this question as they digested the news of Mr Lim’s arrest and the two corruption charges that loom over him.
The Democratic Action Party (DAP) secretary-general was yesterday arrested by plainclothes policemen and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers, who escorted him from his 28th-storey government office in the Komtar tower.
Penang’s popular leader is serving his second term, and showing the way forward with his so-called government of Competency, Accountability and Transparency (CAT).
Thus, it was a big surprise for many to see him being attacked since March by Umno leaders over the purchase of a bungalow, said to be bought below-market price at RM2.8 million (S$940,000), when similar units would allegedly be able to fetch RM6 million.
And then there were the accusations that the two-storey house, which sits on 10,000 sq ft of land, was sold by a businesswoman, Ms Phang Li Koon, who is said to have business dealings with Mr Lim’s state administration.
To Mr Lim’s fans, the attacks are a waste of time, when the detractors should be chasing up a huge scandal involving the RM2.6 billion said to be linked to Prime Minister Najib Razak, which the authorities have not dealt with.
“Indeed, sad news… RM2.6b run free and RM2.8 million, get hauled up by goons,” wrote one Malaysiakini reader yesterday.
Others questioned why Mr Lim needed to be held overnight by MACC. Facebook user Daweena Gill, writing on Mr Lim’s Facebook page, said: “Why must he be in the lock up…? He has nothing to hide and honestly, he is not the type to hide or run away”.
To Umno leaders, the charges are comeuppance for Mr Lim, whose DAP is relentless in attacking the government on various issues.
Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and one of Mr Lim’s harshest critics, said: “Clearly, DAP’s slogan of being the most clean political party in Malaysia does not hold water, post Lim Guan Eng’s arrest by MACC today. Transparency and accountability must be practised, not preached.”
The Demoractic Action Party is obviously ready that their leader would be in trouble, already prepared themselves to encircle-the-wagon the moment the cavalry charge against them is made.
The Star story:
Thursday, 30 June 2016 | MYT 9:31 AM
LGE charged: DAP to hold emergency meeting
BY CRYSTAL CHIAM SHIYING
GEORGE TOWN: Penang DAP will be holding an emergency meeting Thursday following the arrest and charge of the party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.
“Penang DAP will hold a meeting tomorrow (Thursday) to make decisions on ways to overcome this political crisis,” Penang DAP chairman Chow Kon Yeow (pic) said in a statement on Wednesday.
He added that DAP regretted the arrest of Lim, who is also Penang Chief Minister.
“We were also shocked to learn that Lim will be charged in the Sessions Court in George Town for two offences tomorrow morning.
“The first charge was related to the rezoning of a land in Balik Pulau, and the second case will be about the purchase of Lim’s bungalow,” said Chow.
He added that the charges were not related to the Taman Manggis issue at the moment.
“We urge all DAP members and supporters in the state and country to stay calm to face this hard time,” he said.
Bukit Bendera MP Zairil Khir Johari confirmed Thursday that the meeting would take place at noon.
Lim’s counsel Gobind Singh on Wednesday night said his client had been a cooperating with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission in its investigations against him.
“They could have just told him (Lim) to be present in the court Friday,” he said.
On reports that Attorney-General Tan Sri Apandi Ali would lead the prosecution team, Gobind said it was of no issue.
“Bring them on and let the battle begin as we are ready to take them on,” said Gobind.
If Lim is found guilty his time, it might be his second stint in prison. He was incarcerated for 18 months from August 1998 for seditious and criminal defamation against then Melaka Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Thamby Chik in 1994.
Without any doubt, Lim’s defence on the case would expected to be centred on the case is a ‘political prosecution’ rather than the Penang Chief Minister willingly and consciously committed a crime, pertaining to the Kg Manggis approvals and the purchase of his current abode.
The case would promise interesting political roller coaster of Lim’s defence inferring matters irrelevant to the case, as part of their expected poor defence to wiggle the obnoxious, rude and autocratic DAP leader out as a free man.
It would be just like Nuremberg in 1946.