In recent days, the Penang Chief Minister; Lim Guan Eng and his administration have their hands full with controversies and dilemma. Lim is facing a two graft-related offences surrounding his position as a public servant that circumvent the acquisition of two lots of agricultural land for residential development during a state planning meeting on 18th July 2014.
Lim’s trial is a reminiscent of two other state leaders whom had been hauled up for corruption; the former Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan (faced three corruption charges in 1991 while still in the office. He was found guilty of one charge but later acquitted).
Another, by the former Selangor Mentri Besar; Dato’ Dr Khir Toyo, who was charged after he stepped down. He was sentenced to one year jail term and recently paroled. Dr. Khir had obtained two plots of land and a house from a company lower than the purchased price.
In both instances, Datuk Pairin and Dr Khir are disqualified as per the Article 48 of the Federal Constitution states, any Member of Parliament or Assemblyman when fined more than RM2,000 or jailed for more than a year in a criminal charge.
Lim, however has made several public remarks (in public speeches and press conferences), insulting the judiciary and justice system to the extent of causing uncertainty over the fair determination of his cases and risks being disqualified as an elected representative; an MP and a State Assemblyman of Penang.
The Attorney-General Office has applied leave from the High Court and granted to begin contempt proceedings against CM Lim Guan Eng. A precedent was set when former Bukit Bintang MP, Wee Choo Keong was disqualified from remaining as an MP after he was convicted for contempt of court by the then Supreme Court on 14th July 1995.
Lim and his administration should reflect on their promises of a Competent, Accountable and Transparent government to the Penangites. Let righteousness and justice prevail!