GEORGE TOWN: A Penang assemblyperson has distanced herself from her father, who is alleged to have run a failed bribes-for-homes racket, following a damning video released on Facebook yesterday.
Sungai Pinang DAP Assemblyperson Lim Siew Khim admitted it was indeed her 68-year-old father in the secretly-taped video.
“There’s a video clip circulating on social media accusing my father of claiming money from the complainants in order to get low- and medium-cost houses.
“My name was mentioned for abusing power. I would like to stress that my father has no power to influence the decision of the Penang State Government. Neither do I.
“Gerakan’s attack is unfounded and without basis,” she said at an emergency press conference called at her service centre in Jelutong today.
Lim went on to describe the revelation as a smear campaign against her by Gerakan, saying that its vice-chairman, Oh Tong Keong, was eager to contest the Sungai Pinang state seat in the next polls.
“I advise any victims to lodge a police report if there were attempts to solicit money to help them get government housing and the police are urged to investigate.
“I repeat that I have not done anything wrong,” she said.
Lim also denied being aware that her father was involved in the racket.
Earlier today, Gerakan called on Lim and state Housing Committee Chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo to answer claims of such a racket operating under their watch.
A video uploaded onto the Penang Kini Facebook page showed a man, alleged to be Lim’s father, Keat Seong, with a broker and a “deceived” home buyer talking about settlement terms after a failed home purchase.
According to the video, those interested to “cut the queue” in the government affordable homes scheme, would have to pay RM260 for a form and extra money to an “Uncle Lim”, who would then ensure they get a unit.
Currently, all state government housing applications are vetted by a seven-member Selection Process Enhancement Committee (SPEC) to determine how deserving the applicant is.
Some of the factors considered are income, number of children and the number of cars owned before an applicant is granted a unit.
According to the state government, there were 35,229 people on the waiting list for affordable homes in April.
“Affordable housing” is for units on the island priced below RM400,000 and below RM250,000 for units on the mainland.
Meanwhile, Lim’s Legal Adviser R S N Rayer also warned Gerakan from making further inflammatory remarks against the assemblyperson or risk being sued for defamation.
“If they so much as cast aspersions that YB Lim is involved, we will not hesitate to initiate legal action,” Rayer said.
When prodded further on relations with her father, Lim said: “This was done without my knowledge, I only found out last night.”
Rayer interjected and said: “Her father could be there for some other reason. He is an adult and is free to move around and meet people.”
Lim, who was accompanied by her mother, was seen sobbing as she left the press conference.