Former finance minister Lim Guan Eng said the arrest of his wife Betty Chew by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission today was uncalled for, as she was not involved in the RM6.3 billion Penang undersea tunnel project.
In a Facebook posting today, Lim said he was upset when he was told about his wife’s arrest.
“I was upset when I heard that my wife Betty Chew was arrested by the MACC even though she had nothing to do with the tunnel project or government matters. I was relieved when she was released.
“I was concerned that she would need to spend a night in the MACC lock-up like me,” he said.
Lim said following his arrest last night, he was forced to wear the distinctive orange-coloured lock-up attire.
“I had to wear MACC’s orange lock-up attire and slept on the wooden floor in the small lock-up with no pillow or mattress, unlike my predecessor who did not need to spend a single night in the lock-up. Whether this is double-standard or not, only MACC can answer,” he said, referring to former finance minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak who was interviewed by the MACC on numerous occasions but did not have to spend a night in lock-up.
“Perikatan Nasional going after me with baseless charges is expected. After all, this unelected government needs to reinforce its slim parliamentary majority. But to go for my wife, who, even though a lawyer, does not enjoy a luxurious lifestyle, shows that they know how to hit you where you helplessly hurt most.”
The Bagan MP’s wife was arrested yesterday after she turned up at the Penang MACC office to have her statement recorded.
Her lawyer Lee Khai said she will be charged under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLA) on Tuesday.
He said she will be charged for her involvement with Excel Property Management and Consultancy Sdn Bhd.
Chew was questioned for almost six hours before she was released on MACC bail of RM50,000 at about 4.30pm.
Lim was charged yesterday with one count of soliciting a bribe from a company involved in the controversial Penang undersea tunnel project.
He was alleged to have asked for 10% of the profits from the RM6.3 billion highway and undersea tunnel projects in Penang while he was chief minister nine years ago.
Lim has pleaded not guilty to the charge, adding that it was politically motivated.
Meanwhile, the DAP has launched a relief fund to help raise money for Lim’s RM1 million bail.
“We have paid RM500,000 with funds borrowed from supporters and will have to pay another RM500,000 to the court on Monday,” the party said in a statement.
“Lim faces another two charges on Monday and Tuesday. Therefore, we are launching a RM10 one-week fund-raising campaign to pay for Lim’s bail and to repay the amounts we borrowed”.
The party alleges the charges against Lim are trumped up because the project was awarded by open tender, having been evaluated by the most senior Penang and federal government civil servants.
“The contractor making the allegation is the same company that had rigorously defended the state government for its competitive transparency.
“He proudly declared that he didn’t have to ‘kaodim’ anyone in government to win the tender”.