Surendran: No obligation for Guan Eng to resign

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KUALA LUMPUR: It’s quite difficult to take Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders seriously on calls urging Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to step aside, said Padang Serai MP N. Surendran in a statement. “The BN should consider their own longstanding problems of accountability and integrity.”

“They don’t have any moral authority at all.”

No doubt, in some cases, it would be appropriate for a public official to step down if charged for a serious offence, conceded the MP, also a lawyer in private practice. “The facts and surrounding circumstances of Guan Eng’s case does not place an obligation upon him to resign.”

He was commenting on MCA President Liow Tiong Lai suggesting on Thursday that the Penang Chief Minister have the “wisdom” to step down from his post after being charged with corruption. “Many others from the BN coalition have also made similar calls.”

He referred to certain points being conveniently disregarded by those who called for the Penang Chief Minister to vacate his post.

Firstly, the lack of evidence on criminal wrongdoing by Guan Eng, based on the facts of the case that are clear and in the public domain.

Secondly, in contrast to the above, the unavoidable and stark fact that to date no prosecution has been brought on the 1MDB Scandal. “This has directly implicated the Prime Minister,” said Surendran. “It’s the subject of worldwide probes.”

Thirdly, the manner in which the arrest was carried out on Wednesday i.e. the unnecessary show of force at the Chief Minister’s Office and the uncalled for overnight detention of him. “They could have phoned him to come over to the MACC office and released him on bail to appear in court next morning,” he said.

Fourthly, the fact that since independence, the political opposition has been consistently subjected to all manners of prosecutions, detentions, campaigns and vilification. “These have received worldwide condemnation from distinguished bodies, individuals and nations,” he said.

It’s a wonder that Liow and all the others, who purport to give advice to Guan Eng now, do not see anything unfair in all of this, summed up Surendran.