PETALING JAYA: A youth leader of the DAP, Steven Sim, has defended the party’s appeal for public donations to raise bail for Lim Guan Eng, taking a swipe at the Barisan Nasional by saying that his party did not have any Arab donors.
In a statement, Sim said among the DAP’s core values were to treat the government’s money as the people’s money and not the party’s money.
He said the DAP still relied on public donations, and claimed that DAP politicians did not abuse their powers and state government resources for the party’s interest.
Last night, graphic designer and activist Fahmi Reza had questioned the public appeal, asking what the DAP would do with the donated sum, now more than RM1 million, once the bail money is refunded by the courts at the end of Lim Guan Eng’s trial on two corruption charges.
Sim said that the party had paid the bail with RM890,000 from Penang DAP and RM110,00 from central headquarters to meet Lim’s bail.
A public appeal for Lim’s bail was launched on Thursday and has raised the full amount.
Sim said the collected funds would be channeled to a campaign called “Support, Sympathy and Solidarity with Lim Guan Eng” and the party’s preparations for the next General Election.
Lim faces trial for abuse of power in approving the conversion of agricultural land in Balik Pulau for residential use, for the benefit of his former landlady’s company. He is also accused of corruption in buying a bungalow in Jalan Pinhorn from her at RM2.8 million, while it was valued at RM4.7 million.
The businesswoman, Phang Li Koon, is charged with abetting Lim.
Sim, who is political education director of DAP Socialist Youth and MP for Bukit Mertajam, said that the DAP’s operation costs or programmes did not use government resources.
“Let Barisan Nasional laugh at our leaders and members for still holding up a Milo tin for public donations, but this is still the party’s principle,” he said in response to questions raised about the public appeal.
“Unlike BN, DAP has no Arab donors to come up with a RM2.6 billion donation,” said Sim, taking a swipe at a reported political donation made in 2013 into the personal accounts of Umno president and Prime Minister Najib Razak.