GEORGE TOWN, Jun 30 – Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng gave a press conference at the Penang Town Hall after bailed out from Penang High Court. He delivered a fiery speech and said, “I’d rather die standing than to live on bended knees. He said this is a political travesty.
“The 2 charges against me under the Malaysian anti-corruption Commission Act (MACC) and Penal Code for corrupt practice is a clear act of political persecution motivated solely to destroy me as Penang Chief Minister,” Lim said during a press conference were held at Penang Town Hall here today.
“I had explained to MACC that the purchase of the bungalow from Ms Phang Li Koon is above-board, an arms-length transaction on a willing buyer and seller basis without any coercion or special favours granted from me or the state government. Ms Phang is a friend of my wife and has no active business relationship with the state government. She is not a housing developer and the bungalow she sold me for RM2.8 million was built in the 1980s,” he said.
“There have been attempts to draw similarities between my case and former Selangor Menteri Besar, Mohd Khir Toyo. This is wrong. Unlike Khir Toyo’s case, Ms Phang did not make a loss of RM5 million but recorded a small profit of RM300,000-00 from her original purchase price of RM2.5 million. Unlike Khir Toyo’s case, Ms Phang is not a housing developer that has to be reliant on state government to continue her business,” he said.
He told that on the second charge relating to the approval of Magnificent Emblem Sdn. Bhd. (MESB)’s application to re-zone its land from agricultural to residential, MESB’s did not succeed in re-zoning its property to residential. He said the property is still remain an agricultural land.
He asked: “What benefit is there to MESB when it could not get its re-zoning approval to agricultural when it could not get final approval by Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Pinang. I am also puzzled by what started off as a vicious political attack on me selling out Taman Manggis land meant for the poor has came to nothing.”
“Why all the hype about Taman Manggis land by BN Ministers then? In additonal, clearly there is nothing wrong with the Taman Manggis land sale and instead I am charged for making a decision for the MESB that finally did not gain them any benefit too.”
Sadly there is no corruption with huge RM50 billion debts or RM2.6 billion or RM4 billion in your personal bank accounts. But it is now corruption even when the alleged corrupt party did not gain any benefit. Lim said he will not submit to such dirty and vicious political plays to destroy my reputation or Penang’s image as the cleanest and best-run state in Malaysia.
“We are proud of our open competitive tenders and proud of our accolades from Transparency International and the annual Auditor-General’s Reports. We will not allow BN to throw mud to hide its own corruption scandals. We will prove our innocence in court,” Lim said.
“We will fight on this to prove that the Pakatan government is a people centric government that upholds its principles of integrity, justice, freedom and democracy. There is still hope for a Malaysia that is clean and free from corruption, abuse of power and oppression. We must not allow BN to steal our children’s future as they have stolen ours,” he said.
He told the reporters that what type of country do they want the children to grow up when those who gained benefits and donations amounting to billions of ringgit are not charged for the corruption whilst those who gained no benefit are prosecuted for the corruption.
“BN can prosecute him but will not kill his passion to free Malaysia from corruption. BN can victimize me but will not crush my spirit to free Malaysia from those who steal our children’s future. BN can even humiliate me by unnecessary detaining me overnight but will not succeed in changing white to black and black to white, right cannot become wrong and wrong cannot become right,” he told Barisan National (BN) before ending his speech.
“BN will not break my party’s unity – we stand together as leaders and members to battle for reforms towards a better Malaysia with freedom, justice and democracy. If BN feels that they can bend or break me by arresting me, they are wrong! I will die standing than live on bended knees. A free Malaysia, a fair Malaysia, a prosperous Malaysia for all is worth fighting for!” he said. He also thanked all the Pakatan Harapan leaders, the Penang state leaders and all supporters for their unwavering support.