Former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng today said the three Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act (AMLA) charges against his wife, Betty Chew Gek Cheng, were an act of political vengeance against him.
A visibly upset Lim said Chew, 56, and businesswoman Phang Li Koon, 48, charged under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act, were just caught in a crossfire.
The DAP secretary-general said during a press conference at his Bagan service centre in Seberang Perai that Chew and Phang were made to respond on baseless charges in an attempt to attack his political career.
“They were unable to show possession of corruption funds and Magnificent Emblem Sdn Bhd was not awarded the project. There was another tender called and another company got the project,” he said.
Among others, Lim claimed it was nonsensical to charge Chew with corruption over her professional fees as a lawyer.
“Yesterday, I was charged with RM3.3 million corruption, but where is the corruption money? They couldn’t show. They didn’t ask me.
“So, where is the corruption when no corruption money was found in my possession, in my bank account?
“Today, there is another charge. This is not on me but involving legal fees my wife obtained as a lawyer. So, if legal fees obtained as a lawyer is now subjected to corruption charge, and dragging my wife, I think this is an act of political vengeance against me.
“All I want to say is that I am very upset. If you want to go, go for me. Why you want to involve my wife?” he asked.
Chew, who was also at the press conference, expressed her shock at the three money laundering charges against her.
She also alleged that she was a proxy target for those going after her husband.
“I’ve been a lawyer for 26 years, we were trained to be law-abiding and to do things in accordance with the law, I am not a [pampered housewife], I am perplexed over why I was charged,” she said.
Chew went on to claim that the charges were meant to create marital stress between her and Lim, with the ultimate aim of destroying their marriage.
She warned others that if their political rivals were willing to use such tactics against Lim, they would have no qualms doing so when going after others who have displeased them.
“I am not a ‘tai kar cheh’ you know? If in Malay, they call the ‘Kak Long’ of a certain community.
“I am beginning to think why. Is it because I am Lim Guan Eng’s wife? Is it because I am Lim’s wife that I have to go through all this stress?
“Is it because you want to break my relationship with him then only you will let me go?
“This is very cruel. This is terrible. I am so sad that this is happening in our country. You know, you want to destroy a man, you want to destroy Lim Guan Eng…they create a frivolous and baseless accusation against him, against me.
“For what? Because the intention is to break him, to break me, to break our relationship, to break our family,” she stressed.
“And you know, the family is the strong pillar in my husband’s life. We are his strongest supporters. That is why they are trying to break us to go to him,” she added.
Lim’s wife reiterated her innocence and vowed to stand by her husband and their family no matter what.
“We believe that he is innocent. He is an innocent man. He is a good man.
“And the support and encouragement I received last few days just tells me that I am right and makes me want to fight on.
“We will not abandon Lim Guan Eng. We will be with him all the while and we will go on,” she added, hoping that the people out there would keep them in their prayers because they are innocent and had not done anything wrong.
“God is watching and one day, you will get in return for what you’ve done to our family,” she said.
The couple then thanked DAP and Pakatan Harapan (PH) members and leaders for their support.
Lim, who is also the Bagan MP was earlier charged with abusing his power as Penang chief minister and Penang Development Corporation chairman for gratification between August 2013 and March 2016.
Lim was charged along with his wife and Phang at the Butterworth Sessions Court in Penang earlier today, where all three pleaded not guilty.
He told reporters the kickbacks he allegedly received from awarding a RM11.61 million workers dormitory project in Juru and Batu Kawan were not true as the project which was allegedly awarded to Magnificent Emblem Sdn Bhd was re-tendered.
“That company involved did not get the project. It was re-tendered. Another company was awarded (the project),” he said.
“They are unable to show we have in our possession corruption money. Where is the corruption?” Lim added.