KUALA LUMPUR: Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng today claimed that his arrest was designed to destabilise and fracture the Opposition pact, Pakatan Harapan.
However, Lim said, only the public could determine the success of this plan orchestrated by the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN).
He predicted that the effort to tarnish his, and the Penang Government’s, image would fail as those residing in the state were well aware of his contributions and development in the state over the past eight years.
“We have implemented all sorts of programmes to assist the people of Penang. We gave out more than RM400 million in contributions for their benefit.
“We managed to make this money because we run a clean and transparent government,” Lim told a press conference at the party’s headquarters here, this afternoon.
Also present was DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke who said Lim’s corruption charges would not fracture the Opposition, but instead, would unite all three PH component parties.
“As you can see, very strong statements were issued by leaders of our component parties the moment Lim was arrested.
“They have given their support, and showed solidarity with us. We are sure this will unite all of us in facing our common enemy (BN).”
DAP strategist and Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong echoed the same sentiment, saying Malaysians would see the charges against Lim as part of Prime Minister Najib Razak and his Government’s larger attack against the Opposition.
“He has put (former PKR leader) Anwar Ibrahim behind bars, and has initiated actions against several other Opposition leaders, in view of the next General Election.
“But I believe Malaysians will see through this and will not allow it to happen.”
Yesterday, Lim was charged under Sect 23 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act for allowing an application to re-zone a piece of land owned by businesswoman Phang Li Khoon’s company Magnificent Emblem Sdn Bhd (MESB); and Sect 165 of the Penal Code for buying a piece of property below market value.
Many have urged him to take a leave of absence pending the trial, but the DAP central working committee today collectively decided this was not necessary as Lim had no influence or control over the prosecution.
“Furthermore, the CEC also believes the charges to be completely baseless and nothing more than an attempt to topple the democratically elected chief minister of Penang, as well as destabilise the party,” the party’s acting national chairman Tan Kok Wai said.