MACC shocked over Guan Eng's acquittal

Audrey Dermawan

GEORGE TOWN: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has expressed shocked over the High Court’s decision to grant former Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng a full acquittal of his corruption charges.

The MACC, in a statement issued soon after the court decision, maintained that the decision to withdraw the case was made by the Attorney-General’s Chambers and not the MACC.

“We are very shocked indeed with the court’s decision to free Lim of his corruption charges and the prosecution’s application to withdraw the case,” it said.

The High Court granted a discharge amounting to an acquittal on Lim and businesswoman Phang Li Koon over their corruption charges, two years ago.

This followed an application made by Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Masri Mohd Daud to the court, based on a representation sent by the defence to the Attorney-General to withdraw the case, on July 6.

Masri had applied for a discharge not amounting to an acquittal.

Lim’s lead counsel, Ramkarpal Singh, and Phang’s lead counsel, Datuk V. Sithambaram, had requested for a full acquittal.

Judge Datuk Hadhariah Syed Ismail, in her judgment, agreed with the counsels that the charges “cannot be hanging over the head of the accused indefinitely.”

She stressed that there must be “finality.” © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd