Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today also expressed shock over the acquittal of former Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan on corruption charges.
The charges were related to the alleged conversion of land status and purchase of a bungalow at below market value.
The Penang High Court today acquitted both Lim and co-accused Phang Li Koon of corruption charges in connection to the land conversion and bungalow purchase after the prosecution dropped the charges and sought an order for both accused to be discharged but not amounting to an acquittal.
However, lawyer Ramkarpal Singh representing Lim and counsel V Sithambaram acting on behalf of Phang requested for their clients to be discharged and acquitted of the charges.
When asked about a statement by the MACC expressing shock over the decision, Mahathir said: “They have a right to be shocked, I am too.”
He was speaking at a press conference at the Qashr Munee Palace in Bandar Seri Begawan at the end of his two-day official visit to Brunei.
On June 30, 2016, Lim, who is currently Finance Minister, had claimed trial over the two corruption charges, involving the conversion of land from agriculture status to housing and purchase of a bungalow in Jalan Pinhorn, George Town Penang at below market value.
Meanwhile, referring to his visit here, Mahathir said what was important was to assure Brunei that the country’s policy to Brunei did not change, and Malaysia wished to remain as a friendly country to Brunei.
He said the reception he received during the visit was very encouraging and he was happy when Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah himself drove a buggy to take him around.
The sultan of Brunei was among the first foreign leaders to visit him days after he was sworn in as prime minister after his Pakatan Harapan coalition won the general election on May 9 and Mahathir was reciprocating the visit.
Mahathir said his brief discussions with the sultan included the Pan Borneo Highway, cooperation on oil production as agreed by the two countries earlier and on Limbang.
Earlier, in the morning, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah took the prime minister for a drive in Taman Mahkota Jubli Emas in a buggy and later for breakfast at Restaurant Horizon.
After the trip, the prime minister and his wife Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali had an audience with the sultan at Istana Nurul Iman followed by a four-eyed meeting between the two leaders before attending a luncheon.
In the afternoon, the prime minister delivered a lecture at Universiti Brunei Darussalam and replied to the questions raised by academicians before proceeding to the Qashr Munee Palace.
The prime minister, his wife and members of the delegation including Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah departed for home from Bandar Seri Begawan International Airport late this evening.