Guan Eng threatens suit over degree claims

(From left) Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng, political secretary to the finance minister Tony Pua, and Panadamaran assemblyman Leong Tuck Chee hold up copies of Lim Guan Eng’s certificate of membership to the Australian Society of Accountants.

KUALA LUMPUR: Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng is considering legal action against pro-Barisan Nasional (BN) media outlets which continue to question his education credentials.

“He reserves the right to file defamatory claims against any pro-BN newspaper which continues to print lies to diminish and question his position, stature and credibility,” his political secretary Tony Pua told reporters in a press conference at the DAP headquarters today.

However, he declined to elaborate further on the matter.

“I was instructed not to take questions for this issue, as advised by Lim’s lawyers, because the matter may go to court and they don’t want me saying the wrong things at a press conference,” he said.

“So I’ve been asked to stick to the statement – this is what we would like to highlight today.”

Lim, whose qualifications were recently questioned by MCA president Wee Ka Siong, is the latest Pakatan Harapan (PH) leader to come under scrutiny over education credentials. Other PH leaders include Deputy Foreign Minister Marzuki Yahya, Johor Menteri Besar Osman Sapian and Tronoh assemblyman Paul Yong.

In a report published by The Star, Wee said Lim’s personal website stated that he became a professional accountant in 1983.

However, Wee said the Monash University website showed that Lim only obtained his Bachelor of Economics in 1984.

Pua said this was because the Australian academic calendar year ends in November, before summer break.

“By the end of 1983, Lim had completed and passed all the examinations necessary to obtain his degree and qualifications to be an accountant,” he said.

He added that Lim received his certificate of membership to the Australian Society of Accountants three months after passing his exams, on Feb 21, 1984.

“His membership was even before he received his degree certificate on April 11, 1984,” he said.

Pua in turn urged Wee to come clean on whether MCA had indeed received millions in 1MDB money from former prime minister Najib Razak.

“Will the pro-BN papers pursue Wee to ask that he come clean? Please don’t try to distract Malaysians from the all-important issue of the RM50 billion 1MDB scandal with frivolous and baseless personal attacks against the finance minister,” he said.