The Penang Chief Minister says he has no influence and control over MACC investigations or on the Attorney-General, who exercises full prosecution powers.
GEORGE TOWN: Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said that he was not surprised that the BN-controlled English and Malay media was demonizing him daily on alleged wrongdoing. “Some Chinese papers are also acting in concert with the BN media.”
“I have faith that the people are not so gullible and can differentiate truth from lies as well as who has or has not stood up for integrity and fought against corruption.”
He urged supporters to be patient in the face of ferocious attacks by TV3 against him with 30 minutes nightly news highlights whilst downplaying the huge RM100 million corruption scandal in the Youth and Sports Ministry. Lim, who is also DAP Secretary-General, added in a statement that he would leave it to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to conduct investigations and would press them to complete it speedily so that his name and the government’s can be cleared. “I have stated my full co-operation to MACC and hope that there can be a fair, independent and professional investigation.”
“I do not see why I should go on leave for blatantly false allegations against me, and when I have no influence and control over MACC investigations or on the Attorney-General, who exercises full prosecution powers.”
Only the Prime Minister exercises authority over both MACC and the Attorney-General, he pointed out. Furthermore, he stressed, if a Menteri Besar or Chief Minister was required to go on leave every time a corruption report to the MACC was lodged, even frivolous and baseless ones, this can be used as a political weapon. “Everyone then has to go on leave.”
The late Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat was investigated by MACC, when he was Menteri Besar of Kelantan, on false charges of corruption over a sponsored haj trip to Mekah in 2009, which he subsequently cancelled, he recalled. “No one asked Nik Aziz to go on leave. He had no control or authority over MACC and the charges were baseless.”
He noted that PAS and Umno were joining hands together, demanding him to go on leave pending investigations by the MACC on BN’s allegations against him of corruption relating to the purchase of his 30-year old house and the sale of government land in Taman Manggis. “These demands are clearly politically motivated.”
“Both BN and PAS did not make the same demands on the Prime Minister to go on leave, when the Prime Minister was discovered with USD700 million or RM2.6 billion in donations in his personal bank account.”
Lim went on to say that he had always conducted a clean administration in Penang according to CAT principles of competency, accountability and transparency. “One of the key integrity measures is practicing open tenders, the implementation that garnered rare praise for the Penang Government from Transparency International.”
“The Penang Government is justifiably proud of running a clean government free from corruption.”
The sale of government land in Taman Manggis was by open tender to the public and awarded to the company that paid the highest price, he explained. “How can there be corruption when the company won the tender on their own merit by paying the highest price?”
Further, he said, the landlady that sold him the house was never ever a shareholder or director of the company. “For this reason the corruption reports against me to MACC by BN and their supporters are false, and a conspiracy to character assassinate and destroy me politically.”
Lim said that he would be willing to discuss further the baseless corruption allegations against him with independent and neutral parties, “so that they can get a true picture of this conspiracy of lies by BN”.