PETALING JAYA: PKR Deputy President Azmin Ali says he is convinced that Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is innocent of the corruption charges he is facing at the Penang High Court.
“I not only choose to give him full benefit of the doubt, but I am convinced he is innocent of these charges.
“Lest we forget, Guan Eng is innocent until proven guilty beyond the shadow of a doubt by a court of law.
“I am further convinced that if the proceedings are free from any kind of executive interference and the judiciary is not subject to any kind of pressure directly or indirectly, Guan Eng will be acquitted and fully vindicated,“ he said in a press statement today.
Azmin said today’s charges against Lim signalled a new low in Malaysian politics, not seen since the “disgraceful and outrageous prosecution of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim almost two decades ago”.
“However, coming in the wake of a protracted campaign of vilification and character assassination carried out by the administration of Dato’ Seri Najib Razak against my comrade, Guan Eng, this bout of selective prosecution and political persecution comes as no surprise.
“These are the concerted actions of a man desperate to hold on to power at all cost, one who would choose to drag the nation through the mother of all scandals and ignominy rather than give up the post of prime minister.”
Azmin said it was clear that the charges levelled against Lim under Section 23 of the MACC Act and Section 165 of the Penal Code are “politically motivated, vexatious and constitute a gross abuse of executive power”.
He questioned why there was no serious and earnest investigation carried out against Najib despite all the controversies surrounding him.
“There is a line beyond which power becomes a tool of oppression and injustice. In prosecuting Guan Eng in the face of such exculpating evidence in his favour, Najib Razak has crossed that line.”
Azmin, who is also Selangor menteri besar, urged the federal Opposition to come together and remain focused on its singular struggle ”to rid the nation of the scourge of corruption at the highest places, unshackled power abuse and kleptocracy unlimited”.
“Let us set aside all our past differences and prejudices and return to the drawing board.
“We need to forge a consensus, stronger than ever before, and build a solid bloc for the next general election.”