More quarters demand to know why Guan Eng was acquitted

AUDREY VIJAINDREN

KUALA LUMPUR: Transparency International Malaysia (TIM) wants the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) to explain why graft charges against Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng were dropped.

TIM president Datuk Akhbar Satar joins many quarters who are demanding answers from the AGC.

“The case had already started and a number of witnesses have already given evidence. By right, the AGC should continue the case and let the court decide whether Lim is guilty or not guilty,” he told the New Straits Times today.

“If at the end the prosecution fails to prove a prima facie case, then only should the accused be acquitted without defence being called.”

Prominent political scientist and commentator Dr Chandra Muzaffar also questioned the decision to drop charges against Lim.

“This case reeks of double standards. My concern is that if you are talking about ethics and integrity being the core of the new government, then you must walk the talk. That’s what people are expecting from Pakatan Harapan (PH).”

Muzaffar said he hope that the government would not repeat this in the future, as it should be setting a good example for the rest.

Yesterday, Permatang Pauh member of parliament Nurul Izzah Anwar also tweeted for an explanation from the AGC.

“The Attorney-General’s Chambers must come forward to provide an explanation,” she said.

Responding to a tweet which posted the link to a 2013 news report of her asking for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to be given the power to prosecute, as the AGC had allegedly failed to do so, Nurul Izzah further commented: “Thanks for reminding. I reiterate my stand today. We want, and need, a reform to the system.”

Lim was charged in 2016 with businesswoman Phang Li Khoon for abusing his position as the former Penang chief minister in approving a land deal as well as purchasing a bungalow at below market price.

He was also accused of abusing his power, where he approved the rezoning application of two pieces of land from agricultural to public housing by Magnificent Emblem Sdn Bhd, where Phang is a director. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd