I’m shocked too, says Dr Mahathir after Guan Eng’s acquittal

Dr Mahathir Mohamad. (Bernama pic)

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today expressed shock over the acquittal of former Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan on corruption charges.

The charges were related to the alleged conversion of land status and purchase of a bungalow at below market value.

The Penang High Court today acquitted both Lim and co-accused Phang Li Koon of corruption charges in connection to the land conversion and bungalow purchase after the prosecution dropped the charges and sought an order for both accused to be discharged but not amounting to an acquittal.

However, lawyer Ramkarpal Singh representing Lim and counsel V Sithambaram acting on behalf of Phang requested for their clients to be discharged and acquitted of the charges.

When asked about a statement by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission expressing shock over the decision, Mahathir said: “They have a right to be shocked, I am too.”

He was speaking at a press conference at the Qashr Munee Palace here at the end of his two-day official visit to Brunei.

On June 30, 2016, Lim, who is the finance minister, had claimed trial over the two corruption charges, involving the conversion of land from agriculture status to housing and purchase of a bungalow in Jalan Pinhorn, George Town Penang at below market value.

Meanwhile, referring to his visit here, Dr Mahathir said what was important was to assure Brunei that the country’s policy to Brunei did not change, and Malaysia wished to remain as a friendly country to Brunei.

He said the reception he received during the visit was very encouraging and he was happy when the Sultan of Brunei, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah himself drove a buggy to take him around.

The Sultan of Brunei was among the first foreign leaders to visit him days after he was sworn in as prime minister after Pakatan Harapan won the May 9 polls.

Mahathir said his brief discussions with the Sultan included the Pan Borneo Highway, cooperation on oil production as agreed by the two countries earlier and on Limbang.