JAKARTA, March 26 – A comprehensive investigation into allegations against chief minister Lim Guan Eng over his purchase of a luxury mansion at below the market price should be expedited to maintain Penang’s image as a an investment destination for Indonesians.
Malaysia Ambassador to Indonesia Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohamed Hashim said the issue could give rise to negative perception among businessmen in Indonesia. He told the reporter that Penang has a special relationship with Indonesia, particularly Medan, and as such the image of the chief minister and state government is important to ensure Penang’s good name.
Several parties including the UMNO Youth wing recently lodged reports with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on the issue over the purchase of the luxury bungalow by Lim. Zahrain said a comprehensive investigation involving the Inland Revenue Board, the police and MACC should be conducted immediately to stop the public debate and to maintain Penang’s image.
The issue relating to the luxury bungalow purchased by Lim was raised in the Dewan Rakyat by Tasek Gelugor MP, Datuk Shabudin Yahaya, who urged the Valuation and Property Development Department to make an assessment on the RM2.8 million property, claiming the current price was above RM3 million.
Shabudin also urged the MACC to investigate into the sale of several plots of land which had been allocated for low-cost housing for the poor in Geogetown, but had been sold by the state to private companies for other development projects. Lim in a statement said the bungalow purchase was on a willing buyer – willing seller basis and he was prepared to be investigated over the matter.