KUALA LUMPUR – June 30, 2016: There has been mounting pressure for Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to take a leave of absence now that he has been formally charged for corruption.
Those who suggested Lim to temporarily step down from his minister-ship deemed that it was apt for him to do so given DAP’s hard-line stance on competency, accountability and transparency (CAT) principles.
Lim had claimed trial to two corruption charges at the Georgetown High Court today for using his post to buy an undervalued bungalow and sold a plot of land that was initially ear-marked for a low cost housing project.
“Now that LGE (Lim) has been formally charged in the High Court, he should, in keeping with good governance practice, take leave of absence on full pay,” wrote DAP former vice-president Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim.
The 82 years old vice-chairman of Transparency International added that Lim also has the moral obligation to take such a leave, especially so since his governance has been “noisily proclaimed” for its CAT principles.
“Now is the time to put all of this to the test. This is a challenge of integrity that he has been throwing at his political opponents.
“His number one deputy should now act for him during his leave of absence,” Tunku Aziz wrote on his Facebook wall.
Similar to Tunku Aziz, prominent blogger Helen Ang also echoed similar calls for Lim to “temporarily step aside.”
“Just like how his party had been calling Najib (Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak) to take a leave of absence due to 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Berhad) concerns.
“But Najib has not even been implicated nor charged in court for corruption for any financial wrongdoing.
“Here Guan Eng has been explicitly charged in court for corruption. DAP should now ‘cakap serupa bikin’ (walk the talk),” she blogged.
Ang added that Lim can resume his duties once he is found to be innocent and that in the meantime one of his two deputies can assume his role.
“Or are they mere DAP’s mandores – Mohd Rashid Hasnon the mandore for Penang Malays and P.Ramasamy the mandore for Penang Indians?” she wrote.
Another blogger Captain (rtd) Abdul Rahmat Omar of the SeaDemon blog also felt that Lim should step down now that he has been implicated with corruption charges.
“At least it won’t sully DAP’s good name. If he does not, then he can still chair meetings that deals with the approving development projects in Penang and this would lead to conflict of interests.
“Maybe it is time for Penang first deputy chief minister Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon take over the state administration.
“I am certain that DAP, being a multiracial political party, will heed my suggestion,” he wrote.
Be that as it may, DAP has made an unanimous decision that Lim “does need to go on a leave or resign” following his corruption charges.
This was, according to Penang DAP chief Chow Kon Yeow, due to the fact that the charges Lim was implicated with were “politically motivated.”
“The two charges against Lim are baseless and appears to be based on political motive; we will fully support every effort (by Lim’s legal team) to prove that he is innocent,” Chow said.