GEORGE TOWN, Aug 27 – Lim Guan Eng has declined comment on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) call to him to publicly apologise for describing the commission’s recent arrest of a state exco as “illegal”. The Penang chief minister, who appeared calm at a press conference here today, did not entertain any question pertaining to the matter.

“Today, I can only answer (questions) on one issue, namely the land reclamation (project) in the Penang waters as raised by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak yesterday,” he told reporters after the Japanese Technology Weekend 2017 programme here.

Last Friday, the MACC, in response to Lim’s statement that the arrest of state exco Phee Boon Poh was “illegal”, gave him 48 hours to issue an open, unconditional apology to the commission or face legal action. The MACC said it regarded the statement on Phee’s arrest as defamatory and aimed at smearing the good name of the commission.

Meanwhile, Lim, who is also DAP secretary-general, said the state government was shocked by Najib’s statement that the federal government would not approve the reclamation works in southern Penang. “The project is being studied by the Department of Environment. So, let the (status) of the project be determined by environmental studies,” he said.

He also added that the state government would pay the highest compensation rate in the country to those fishermen affected by the project. Yesterday, Najib said Putrajaya would not support the land reclamation project in Penang if it incurred huge losses and affected the income of the people in the areas concerned.

The prime minister had also said the federal government had its own stand in approving a project and not reject it solely on political grounds. The state government had previously announced the implementation of the 1,800-hectare project in Permatang Damar Laut here valued at RM46 billion to build three man-made islands for development purposes. — Bernama

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