Former finance minister Lim Guan Eng was charged on Friday for allegedly soliciting bribes because Perikatan Nasional (PN) wanted to “equalise” it with former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak’s conviction in relation to the SRC International Sdn Bhd case.
DAP political education director Liew Chin Tong said this is similar to Lim’s charges over his bungalow in 2016, which occurred during the height of Najib’s 1MDB scandal.
“The persecution of Lim during his tenure as Penang chief minister first happened in March 2016 in the form of the ‘bungalow case’ at the height of Najib’s 1MDB scandal.
“The purpose was to show that ‘both sides are the same.’
“Come 2020, Lim and his wife Betty Chew are dragged into another round of persecution so that PN can ‘equalise’ the blows of Najib’s conviction that happened just a week ago,” he said in a statement on Facebook today.
Liew added that this was “also an attempt to make Chew look like (Najib’s wife) Rosmah Mansor number 2”.
He claimed that even back in 2016 during the bungalow case, this tactic backfired as the public knew it was part of a political game.
PN must have been surprised with the outpouring of sympathy, support and solidarity shown to Lim by the public in the past two days, he said.
Liew further stated that Malaysians yearn for fair play and resent injustice and are thus angry when they witness such incidences of political persecution.
This time, he said, Lim also had to spend an “unnecessary” night in the MACC Putrajaya headquarters’ lockup.
“MACC could have just informed Lim to be present in court at a certain time.”
He urged the public to support the solidarity fund for Lim to make a strong statement against these actions by the PN government.
The public should also register as voters as soon as possible and volunteer to make their community a better place.
“An NGO friend of mine asked: ‘Apart from donating and issuing statements, what else can I do?’, to which I suggested – join DAP,” Liew said.
On July 28, the Kuala Lumpur High Court pronounced Najib guilty of seven criminal charges involving RM42 million from 1MDB-linked SRC International.
This prompted an outcry from Umno supporters and leaders, including Umno supreme council member Mohd Puad Zarkashi.
Following the decision, Puad had insinuated that this was vengeance by premier Muhyiddin Yassin, who was in 2016 sacked as deputy prime minister and Umno deputy president by Najib.
Meanwhile, Lim had on Friday claimed trial to a charge of soliciting bribes in connection with the RM6.3 billion Penang undersea tunnel project.
He was accused of soliciting the bribe to facilitate the awarding of a contract with regard to the tunnel.
In an immediate response, Najib questioned why he was being fingered for Lim’s case.
“If DAP truly believes that MACC does not have a shred of evidence, please ensure that Guan Eng makes no attempt to delay his trials so that MACC’s lack of evidence is exposed in court.
“Please don’t allow Guan Eng to delay his trials again by two years like what he did with his bungalow court case by challenging the MACC act as unconstitutional,” he said on Facebook. – Malaysiakini