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Ask Guan Eng to go on leave, 'double standards' PKR told

Published:  |  Modified:

PKR should not practice double standards and demand for Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to go on leave in view of his twin corruption charges, said Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang.

He was responding to PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail asking Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to go on leave following the civil suits filed by the United States Department of Justice to initiate seizure of assets worth RM4 billion allegedly misappropriated from 1MDB.

Tan said Gerakan Youth agreed with the principles that a person holding an official government position must go on leave if the person is charged in the court of law for corruption.

"However, in the case by the US Department of Justice, our prime minister was not charged or even named by the US Department of Justice. Thus, the demand by the PKR president is premature and not applicable," he added in a media statement.

On the contrary, Tan said Lim had been charged in court but continues to remain as chief minister.

"Based on the principles stated by the PKR president, we believe Lim must go on leave pending the verdict of the trial.

"This is a clear cut situation where a person holding a top official state post being charged in court for alleged corruption.

"Why must there be an exception for Lim?" he asked.

Tan pointed out that there were also numerous calls by the public, including NGOs for Lim to go on leave.

"We urge PKR to walk the talk and also demand Lim to go on leave without any further excuses.

"PKR should not practice double standards in this matter," he said.

Lim was arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission on June 29, and the following day he was slapped with two corruption charges in the Penang High Court.

The charges are related to the purchase of his RM2.8 million bungalow on Jalan Pinhorn from businesswoman Phang Li Khoon. He was accused of purchasing the unit below market value, an offence for a public official under the Penal Code.

However, Lim denied the charge, saying he purchased the house on a "willing seller, willing buyer basis".

The DAP secretary-general was also accused of approving the rezoning of a plot of land - from agriculture to residential use - in Balik Pulau, which belongs to the firm Magnificient Emblem Sdn Bhd.

Phang holds a 30 percent stake in the firm, and was arrested and charged for abetting Lim in the alleged graft but has denied the charge, saying she has no business links with the state government.

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