GEORGE TOWN: The Pakatan Harapan leadership in Penang expressed full support today for Lim Guan Eng to remain as Penang Chief Minister despite his impending trial on corruption charges.
Penang PKR chairman Mansor Othman said leaders of the three parties, PKR, Parti Amanah Negara and DAP met this morning and unanimously concurred that Lim need not resign or go on leave.
“We took a number of standpoints in this decision, firstly, the post of chief minister currently held by Lim Guan Eng is not linked with the judiciary or other legal institutions and national enforcement agencies such as the Malaysian Anti-corruption Commission and Royal Malaysian Police.
“So political interference (in the trial) doesn’t arise,” he told a media conference at the office of the Penang chief minister here today.
Present were Guan Eng, Amanah vice-president Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa and Penang DAP chairman Chow Kon Yeow.
Mansor, who is MP for Nibong Tebal, said that PKR believed Guan Eng’s prosecution to be politically motivated, aimed at destroying his political career, and undermining the cooperation and solidarity of Pakatan Harapan in Penang and in the country.
Lim, 56, was charged in the High Court on Thursday and claimed trial on both counts.
On the first charge, he is accused of abusing his position as chief minister for his own interest and that of his wife Betty Chew Gek Cheng, by approving an application by Magnificent Emblem Sdn Bhd for re-zoning of a piece of agricultural land for residential use.
On the second charge he is accused of corruptly obtaining for himself and his wife a piece of land and bungalow at 25 Jalan Pinhorn, George Town, from businesswoman, Phang Li Koon for RM2.8 million although the market valuation was RM4.7 million.
Phang meanwhile was charged with abetting Lim.