GEORGE TOWN: An assemblyman has cautioned the Malaysian Bar, in particular its President Steven Thiru and past President Ambiga Sreenevasan, against falling into a BN trap.
“They should not get carried away by calls urging Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to step down on a ‘non issue’.”
“The chief minister has been maligned, again and again, by BN politicians, ” alleged Sri Delima assemblyman RSN Rayer in a statement.
“They are merely using this issue of the bungalow purchase to distract attention from the bigger scandals plaguing the country.”
The Malaysian Bar should not be overzealous as the seller has signed a statutory declaration stating that she was a willing seller at all material times, added Rayer.
“This means that there’s nothing corrupt about the transaction in the first place.
“The Malaysian Bar should not jump the gun and ask the chief minister to go on leave. There might not be any case for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commissioner (MACC) to investigate in the first place.”
The Malaysian Bar must be cautious when commenting on the issue, continued the assemblyman.
“There may be some quarters who may take advantage of the present situation. They may claim that even the Malaysian Bar wants the chief minister to go on leave although it may not be the case.”
Rayer was commenting on statements issued by Thiru and Ambiga, reportedly urging the chief minister to go on a “leave of absence”, pending a corruption investigation into the purchase of a bungalow for RM2.8 million.
“No doubt the Chief Minister is a public official. However, he’s definitely not in a position to influence. He definitely cannot interfere with any investigation.
“In fact, the Chief Minister has urged the MACC to expedite investigations. He has also stated that he’s willing to co-operate with MACC.”
Rayer pointed out that the police, MACC and the Attorney-General’s Chambers are all Federal Government departments or agencies.
“The Chief Minister is definitely not in a position to wield any influence or control over them.”
The assemblymen recalled that there had been “baseless accusations” made against Lim in the past.
He cited the example of the official car of the chief minister purchased by the Penang Government.
“BN leaders alleged that this purchase was connected to a well-known businessman, a Tan Sri from Penang, just because the car was supposedly bought below market price.”
“The Chief Minister was alleged to have been involved in some form of graft or abuse of power.”
After weeks of adverse and unnecessary hype and publicity, especially on TV3 and other BN-controlled mainstream media, nothing came out of the allegations, said Rayer.