The Penang Chief Minister said using one photo to implicate him was ridiculous.
While the Penang Chief Minister’s Office says attempts to link Lim Guan Eng to a Datuk Seri being investigated in the Penang undersea tunnel graft probe are “a disgusting smear attempt”, Barisan Nasional (BN) questions if the photo was taken at the businessman’s home.
A statement issued by Lim’s office said newspapers had highlighted a photograph of Lim and the businessman “as proof that the CM is his buddy and somehow connected with the RM19 million allegedly paid”.
“This is a disgusting attempt to smear the Penang Chief Minister by relying on one photograph.
“As a public figure, the CM has taken many photographs with many personalities and cannot recall how many times or where each and every photograph was taken. Does taking a photo makes one a buddy or one who is close to BN into a DAP supporter?” it said.
It also went on to attack BN media for highlighting the photograph, noting that they were now spinning a story that the businessman was a buddy of the chief minister.
“Does taking a photo makes one a buddy or one who is close to BN into a DAP supporter?” it said.
Lim pointed out that he has also been in photographs with Goh Chun Lai, the wealthy but bankrupt businessman who is closely associated with 1MDB, but no one has implicated him in that scandal, The Sun Daily reported.
“Using the latest BN perverse logic, does this mean that the Penang CM is a buddy of Goh Chun Lai and connected to 1MDB too?” he was quoted saying.
According to the report, he said despite the repeated challenges towards BN and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to prove its allegations that Penang state government leaders received millions of ringgit from the Zenith Consortium group and those granted the Penang undersea tunnel and three main highways project, BN has failed to do so.
Lim reportedly added it was also shocking that the amount paid was actually not to Penang leaders, but to those who are said to be closely connected to top BN ministers.
“This is another classic case of innocent parties, who are clean, being made the scapegoat for culprits closely connected to BN, who got RM22 million,” he was quoted saying.
The statement also noted that Lim has instructed his lawyers to study the legal implications of the photo, which has also been published in some Chinese newspapers.
In addition, the photo has gone viral on social media since March 9.
The businessman, a 37-year-old Datuk Seri, is alleged to have received RM19 million from the main contractor Consortium Zenith Construction (CZC) to help “settle” the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission probe into the RM6.34 billion project comprising an undersea tunnel and three main highways.