PETALING JAYA: Embattled Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng now faces internal pressure to take leave while public investigators probe graft allegations against him.
Outspoken Tanjung Bungah assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu said DAP leaders should walk the talk as they had always asked others, especially Barisan Nasional leaders, to take leave or quit whenever a controversy or scandal erupted.
Thus, the Penang lawmaker said, Lim should heed a call by former Bar Council president S. Ambiga to take leave to uphold the principles of competency, accountability and transparency.
“We, the DAP, have always asked others, especially BN leaders, to do it. So DAP leaders should do it, too. We must walk the talk now.
“DAP should demonstrate to the people that it abhors corruption at all levels, notwithstanding who is involved.
“The party must show that it always upholds principles of good governance. Hence, those facing graft allegations should take leave,” said Teh, firing a broadside against Lim.
Lim is embroiled in a graft allegation pertaining to his RM2.8 million bungalow purchase, which is allegedly below market value.
The bungalow purchase has been linked to the Penang Government’s sale of a Taman Manggis land in Jalan Zainal Abidin – Jalan Burma junction in George Town to Kuala Lumpur International Dental Centre (KLIDC) Sdn Bhd in 2010 for RM11.5 million, which has also been alleged to be below market value.
Several quarters have lodged reports with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the police.
Both law enforcement agencies have already opened investigation papers on the reports.
Previously, Ambiga and current Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru had called on Lim to take leave while graft-busters probed allegations against him. However, Lim had said he saw no reason for him to take leave.
Currently, said Teh, negative perception of DAP leaders and its government in Penang was growing because of the bungalow and Taman Manggis controversies.
Thus, he said, the DAP should take pro-active steps to restore public confidence in the competency, accountability and transparency of personalities involved in these issues.
He said the public had high expectations of the Penang Government.
“But now everywhere people are talking about this bungalow issue.
“They have negative perception of certain leaders,” said Teh, who had written a letter last Friday to Lim and Penang DAP chairman Chow Kon Yeow on the matter.
In his letter, Teh has requested Lim to heed Ambiga’s suggestion to take leave.
Teh had also advised DAP leaders to take the bull by its horns by going public to explain the graft allegations against Lim.
“Of course, all the allegations have not been proven, but the public’s perception of the party is negative now.
“Integrity of the state government and public confidence have been eroded and credibility of certain leaders has been badly affected.
“DAP leaders should declare loud and clear to the people that the party has always been against corruption at all levels.
“The party should reiterate its stand that it is always against any form of graft, even by its own leaders, to restore public confidence and uphold principles of good governance,” said Teh.
Source: Free Malaysia Today