GEORGE TOWN: Lim Guan Eng is being vindictive by continuously attacking Umno MP Shabudin Yahya, a Penang Umno leader said today.
Penang Umno chief Zainal Abidin Osman claimed that Lim’s action stemmed from the fact that Shabudin was the one who had revealed the purchase of a bungalow at below market rate, which eventually led to corruption charges being filed against the Penang chief minister.
“That is why despite Shabudin’s explanation over his controversial remarks on child marriage at the Dewan Rakyat recently, the chief minister is adamant to bring a motion to condemn Shabudin over his remarks at the next State Legislative Assembly sitting,” Zainal said today.
He revealed that Penang Umno, via state opposition leader Jahara Hamid, would also table a motion demanding Lim’s resignation.
Zainal said despite repeated calls for Lim to step down over his corruption trial, his “stubbornness” had affected the credibility of the Chief Minister’s Office.
“He must understand when witnesses are called from his office, they will feel guilty and pressured, as the CM is still in position.
“As we all know, it is going to be a long trial, which may affect his administrative duties as CM,” Zainal said.
In March last year, Lim came under public scrutiny after Shabudin linked Lim’s double-storey bungalow in Jalan Pinhorn, which the CM admitted was bought below the market price last year, to the 2012 sale of state land at Taman Manggis.
The bungalow was sold for RM2.8 million although Shabudin claimed it was valued at around RM6 million, resulting in both the police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) opening investigation papers into the case.
Lim and his wife, Betty Chew, have since given their statements to MACC.
Both Lim and the bungalow’s seller, Phang Li Koon, have denied any wrongdoing, with the latter saying the house was sold on a “willing buyer-willing seller” basis.
Lim paid RM700,000 in cash and another RM2.1 million through a bank loan to purchase the 10,000 sq ft bungalow on July 28, 2015.
He had claimed the sale of the Taman Manggis land in Jalan Zainal Abidin, George Town, was done via open tender, adding the land was sold to the highest bidder.
The Penang CM claimed his government had no knowledge the land was earmarked for low-cost housing.