PETALING JAYA: Penang lawyer RSN Rayer has asked critics to refrain from having a trial by media following the controversial purchase of a bungalow by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
“I condemn the incessant attacks on the chief minister by all the Barisan Nasional leaders which smack of clear double standards.
“I implore them to look at the situation objectively and at the very least allow the MACC to conduct and complete its investigations,” he said in a press statement today.
Rayer is Seri Delima assemblyman and chairman of the Backbenchers, Penang Pakatan Harapan.
Rayer also said Lim need not go on leave pending the outcome of the MACC investigations as he had no doubt that Lim had done nothing wrong in the purchase of the bungalow.
“Being a chief minister, you don’t expect him to live in a two-room flat!”
Rayer said it was very misleading to suggest that Lim should have known the value of the property simply because of the assessment paid to the Stamp Duty Office.
“Please remember that in this case, it was a willing seller and willing buyer. The seller has now signed a statutory declaration that she sold the bungalow to the chief minister of her own free will.
“There is no way a purchaser, especially a layman who wishes to purchase a property, would know the value of the property based on the stamp duty to be paid.
“In all sale and purchase transactions, the stamp duty to be paid cannot be determined until and unless the stamp duty assessment notice is issued by the Stamp Duty office because the value of the said property fluctuates.”
Tasek Gelugor MP Shabudin Yahaya told the Dewan Rakyat last week that Lim had bought a bungalow in Pinhorn Road, Penang, at a price that was much lower than the market value.
Shabudin alleged that while the market price of the bungalow Lim purchased on Oct 25 last year was estimated at RM6 million to RM6.5 million, Lim got it for half the market value.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has opened an investigation into the allegation.