Graft-tainted Lim Guan Eng should quit to save Penang from further shame

 |Apr 17, 2017
Gerakan vice-chairman Oh Tong Keong (left) has called on Lim Guan Eng to quit as Penang Chief Minister and DAP secretary-general due to his corruption case.

Gerakan has called on all the assemblymen in Penang to back the Barisan Nasional-proposed assembly motion to demand graft accused Lim Guan Eng to quit as the state chief minister.

Oh Tong Keong, the Penang Gerakan vice-chairman, said the assemblymen should vote according to their conscience to back the motion to force out Guan Eng from office.

“The motion is imperative to save Penang and the chair of the chief minister from further embarrassment caused by Guan Eng’s ongoing corruption case.

“Elected representatives, who believe in righteousness, should support the motion.

“They should vote according to their conscience,” Oh told Malaysia Outlook.

Penang Umno announced last week that the Barisan assemblymen had submitted the motion demanding the corruption-tainted Guan Eng to step down, to the House Speaker Law Choo Kiang for tabling in next month’s sitting.

Although the speaker can reject it from tabling, the motion can still be tabled as an emergency motion if it had a proposer and 10 representatives supporting it.

Barisan currently has 10 state lawmakers, all from Umno.

The state ruling coalition, Pakatan Harapan has 29 assemblymen consisting of DAP’s 19 and PKR’s 10, while PAS has one seat.

On June 30, 2016, Guan Eng was charged with obtaining gratification for himself and his wife Betty Chew by approving the conversion of two lots of agricultural land belonging to Magnificent Emblem into residential development while chairing a state planning committee meeting on July 18, 2014.

The offence under Section 23 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 carries a jail term of up to 20 years and a fine of at least five times the value of gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

He faces another charge under Section 165 of the Penal Code for using his position to obtain gratification by purchasing his bungalow in Pinhorn Road from businesswoman Phang Li Khoon at RM2.8mil, below the market value of RM4.27mil, on July 28, 2015.

The offence is punishable by a maximum of two years in jail or a fine, or both.

Phang, who is charged with abetment, faces up to two years in jail or a fine, or both.

Both the accused have pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.

Oh said the Barisan’s assembly motion was important to halt the prolonged disrepute Guan Eng had brought on to the chief minister chair with his embarrassing graft trial, adding that Guan Eng should also step down as the DAP secretary-general.

He said Penang was never embroiled in any corruption scandal when it was ruled by the Gerakan-led Barisan government between 1969 and 2008.

But now, he said Guan Eng’s graft case has damaged the reputation of Penang and, tarnished the integrity and dignity of the chair of the chief minister.

“He should heed the public call to quit immediately.

“We are not saying that he was already guilty as charged.

“But he should quit or at least take leave to concentrate on his case to clear his name first before he reassumes the position.

“As chief minister, Guan Eng has a social and moral responsibility to avoid bringing lasting disrepute to the chair and damaging the image of Penang,” Oh said.

Related links:
Barisan Nasional to table motion demanding Guan Eng’s resignation
DAP lawmaker wants Lim Guan Eng to go on leave pending graft trial
Penang is now a hub for corruption