GEORGE TOWN, Mar 26 – About hundreds of people have gathered around the High Court complex at Light Street here this morning to show their support for Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who arrived at the courthouse for the first day of his corruption trial.
Lim and Phang arrived at 8.35am with the court room at 8.50am, with the public gallery filled up by their family members and supporters. The supporters carrying banners with chanting, “Lim Guan Eng” and “Keep on fighting” while Lim waves to them, with scores of motorists honking in support.
Also present are DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang and wife, DAP national chairperson Tan Kok Wai, treasurer Fong Kui Lun, vice chairperson Teresa Kok, Penang DAP chief Chow Kon Yeow and PKR secretary general Saifuddin Nasution. Twenty media practitioners were allowed into the court room to cover the hearing.
The public, including members of the media were at the court compound since 7.30 am and were only allowed into the court room at 8 am after passing through a metal detector. The public, including members of the media were at the court compound since 7.30 am and were only allowed into the court room at 8 am after passing through a metal detector.
The prosecution team is led by deputy public prosecutor Datuk Masri Mohd Daud, while Lim is represented by a panel of lawyers, including Gobind Singh Deo, Ramkarpal Singh and RSN Rayer. Lawyers Datuk V. Sithambaram and Hisyam Teh Poh Teik acted for Phang.
Masri informed the court that the prosecution would be calling at least seven witnesses today. The court allowed the prosecution’s request for the cases involving Lim and Phang to be heard jointly. Lim, who is DAP secretary-general, has maintained his innocence, calling the case a travesty of justice. He claims the charges were trumped up to ruin the state and his political career.
The Air Putih assemblyman has not discounted the possibility of the hearing affecting his ability to contest in the upcoming general election. Lim has also indicated that Penang DAP chairman Chow Kon Yeow may replace him if he is convicted of his graft charges. — PN