Wanita Umno chief Noraini Ahmad has slammed the acquittal of Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng on his two corruption charges, comparing it to former Selangor menteri besar Dr Mohd Khir Toyo's conviction for graft in 2015.
"In Lim's case, he has been charged and the proceedings have started.
"It should be that when a case is being heard, all efforts to seek evidence should be done, but what is strange now is that the attorney-general (Tommy Thomas) has decided not to continue with the prosecution," she said in a statement today.
"At least the rakyat saw before this that there was no intervention from the attorney-general in the case involving Khir.
"In that case, the court got to consider the case and listen to the case proceedings until he was found guilty."
Khir's (photo) conviction was upheld by the Federal Court in 2015 for receiving two plots of land in Shah Alam valued at RM3.5 million for himself and his wife. He was sentenced to 12 months in prison.
Noraini said the new Pakatan Harapan government often spoke about the "rule of law" but she questioned whether this was applied in Lim's case, adding that there should be solid reasons why charges were dropped.
"This is because it may cause a perception that whenever a particular government is in power, the rule of law is different and changing," she said.
Noraini also questioned why the MACC appeared to not have been consulted when the representation to drop Lim's charges was sent to the Attorney-General's Chambers.
"This action by the AGC seems to belittle the work done by the MACC, and gives the perception that there was a selective prosecution at work," she said.
Noraini also urged the AGC to explain the decision to drop the charges against Lim, describing it as a matter of "public interest."
'All we want is a statement, AG'
Similarly, Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin (photo) questioned whether the AGC or the Malaysian Bar have released a statement on Lim's acquittal.
"Surely the attorney-general can't be that busy, considering he's outsourced the 1MDB prosecution, for which he was ostensibly brought in to handle, to external counsel.
"All we want is a statement, Thomas," Khairy tweeted today.
Yesterday, the High Court in Penang acquitted Lim of his two charges on the alleged conversion of the status of state land and the purchase of a bungalow at below market value.
The court also acquitted businessperson Phang Li Koon on her charge of abetting Lim in obtaining the bungalow at an undervalued cost.
This came after the AGC accepted the representations from their lawyers.
The prosecution said it had studied the representations from the accused and agreed to withdraw the charges. Though the AGC only requested for a discharge not amounting to an acquittal, the judge granted a full acquittal.
Justice Hadhariah Syed Ismail said the court could not afford to keep the case pending, especially as it related to public interest.
"The court can't leave the case like this indefinitely. We have to put a full stop and close it.
"In view of that aspect, it's impossible for me to grant a discharge not amounting to an acquittal. I hereby decide to order the accused be discharged amounting to an acquittal," she ruled.