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Umno tells Guan Eng to quit, PAS says innocent till proven guilty

Published:  |  Modified:

Penang Umno wants Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to step down following the corruption charge against him at the Penang Sessions Court this morning.

However, PAS says Lim is innocent until proven guilty while Gerakan Youth and MIC says Lim should just take a leave of absence pending the trial.

Penang Umno chief Zainal Abidin Osman said Lim must step down as CM to protect the integrity of the CM's office and vacate all other state posts.

"Before Lim, no other Penang chief minister or former chief minister was charged with corruption.

"As he has been charged in court, Lim must immediately vacate his post as CM and other state posts he holds pending the outcome of the trial," he said in a statement.

He also rubbished claims of political conspiracy, arguing the charge followed a thorough investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

"The law does not discriminate based on position, race, religion or political affiliations; all who are accused are given a chance to defend themselves and the same goes for Lim," he said.

Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang, however, took a softer stance and urged Lim to go on leave instead.

Failure to take leave pending the outcome of the trial smacks of double standard, Tan said.

"Will DAP make an exception for (Guan Eng) to continue to be Penang CM notwithstanding corruption charges in court? Double standard?" he asked on Twitter.

He also tagged Guan Eng's father and veteran DAP leader Lim Kit Siang in his tweet.

Kit Siang previously urged Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to go on leave pending investigations into the RM2.6 billion found in Najib's personal bank accounts.

Kit Siang also called on Najib to go on extended leave pending a royal commission of inquiry into 1MDB.

"Time to see whether DAP will practise what they preach," Tan tweeted.

He said the same would apply to Najib if the prime minister were to be charged in court.

"Not bare allegations. That's why I never asked (Guan Eng) to go on leave before this," he said.

PAS: Why did Apandi clear Najib but charge Guan Eng?

Separately, MIC treasurer-general S Vell Paari also echoed the call for Lim to vacate his post while the proceedings against him are ongoing.

“This is so that there would be no interference from the Chief Minister’s Office on the case,” he said in a statement.

Vell Paari, who congratulated MACC for the arrest, also said it showed there was truth in the exposé by Tasek Gelugor MP Shabudin Yahya, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan and Parti Cinta Malaysia vice-president Huan Cheng Guan.

PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man (photo), however, maintained that being charged in court is not the same as being found guilty.

"Let the courts decide. PAS hopes Guan Eng gets a fair trial," he said in a statement, adding that this is also the view of PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang.

PAS also frowned on attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali, who is leading the prosecution in this case.

"We regret that Apandi can act as judge in to clear Najib following MACC investigation but is ready to charge Lim as lead prosecutor," he said.

Apandi had in January cleared PM Najib of wrongdoing following MACC's investigation into the RM2.6 billion found in the PM's bank account.

Lim is charged with abusing his power to benefit himself and his wife by approving the re-zoning of a plot of land to Magnificient Emblem Sdn Bhd.

He is also faces a second charge in relation to him obtaining a property below market value on 25, Jalan Pinhorn from Phang Li Khoon.

The value of the property was then RM4.27 million. Guan Eng is accused of committing the offence on July 28, 2015.

Phang is accused of abetting Guan Eng to obtain a "valuable property" for RM2.8 million, which he allegedly knew to be below market value.

"He obtained the property knowing that you (Phang) have business dealings with the state government," the charge sheet read.

She is charged with committing the offence under Section 109 of the Penal Code, read together with Section 165 of the same code.


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