Toothless MACC arrests Penang Chief Minister


Washington DC

June 29,2016

Wake Up World: Toothless MACC arrests Penang Chief Minister but shields Malaysia’s Most Corrupt Prime Minister Najib Razak

by Predeep Nambiar

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng was arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission at his office in Komtar today.

According to a tweet by state executive councillor Dr Afif Bahardin, an arrest warrant had been issued and Lim will be brought to the MACC headquarters at Northam Road not far away.

About a dozen MACC officers were seen entering various parts of Komtar, in what appears to be a lock-down. Six men entered his state executive council boardroom, where a regular meeting was ongoing.

Another four men entered later Earlier, Guan Eng’s sister Hui Ying, who is also Penang DAP secretary, arrived at his office, plausibly to lend moral support. She appeared worried and had a sombre look.

Guan Eng’s lawyer and Seri Delima DAP representative R.S.N. Rayer was also seen arriving at his office.Guan Eng is expected to be charged at the Sessions Court here tomorrow, said Penang DAP chairman Chow Kon Yeow.

He is to be charged under Sect 23 of the MACC Act for allowing an application to rezone a piece of land owned by Phang Li Khoon’s company Magnificent Emblem and Sect 165 of the Penal Code for buying a property below market value.

Section 165 stipulates that it is an offence for a public servant to obtain anything without consideration from persons concerned in any proceeding or business transacted by such a public servant.

On the land rezoning issue, Chow said the municipal council had rejected an application by Phang’s company to rezone a piece of land. He did not elaborate further.

“He will be bailed out,” he told reporters.

Chow, who is also local government, traffic management and flood mitigation committee chairman, said the Penang DAP will hold an emergency meeting tomorrow to discuss a possible replacement for Lim.

On May 22, MACC officers visited Lim’s home in Pinhorn Road following his controversial purchase of a bungalow below market price. It was later linked to the sale of state land.

In denying the allegations first raised by UMNO MP Shahbudin Yahaya, Lim insisted there was no impropriety in the purchase of the property. The DAP Secretary-General clarified that he did not know the market value of the bungalow he bought last year for RM2.8 million as it was based on an verbal understanding between his wife, Betty Chew, and the previous owner, Phang Li Koon, in 2012.

It was purchased by Lim on July 28 last year. Similar properties in the area are said to be valued at between RM6-RM6.5 million.

Earlier today, speculation was rife that Lim would be summoned to court over the purchase of his bungalow here. The rumours of the arrest came after MACC’s completion of its probe on May 25 into Lim’s bungalow purchase.

 

27 thoughts on “Toothless MACC arrests Penang Chief Minister

  1. This remind me of the evidence against Anwar, the Anwar evidence is even more tenous. This Mahathir’s Anakku Sazali learned his lesson too well.

    And people wonder why the likes of Pahang Mufti and others are coming out if the woodwork? They are INSPIRED by Najib

  2. Now the politicians can justify the ‘gifts’ they get quoting US High Court decision as a precedent. Now can this be decision be quoted as a precedent for Civil servants/others who may have been subjected to MACC action. Can quote US Supreme Court decision as reported and reproduced below:

    What would be the view of Malaysian Audit General or the Attorney General or Public Accounts Committee members?

    BRIBERY OF ELECTED LEADERS BEING LEGAL MAY BE ANOTHER SIGN OF A COUNTRY BEING DEVELOPED!!
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Billionaires to buy the services of elected officials with lavish “gifts.” By John Nichols Twitter 29.6.16 – US Newspaper ‘NATION.

    The Supreme Court That Allowed Corporations to Buy Elections Has Now Approved the Bribing of Governors.

    The same Supreme Court that unleashed a torrent of political corruption with its Citizen United ruling of 2010 has now expanded its support for legalized bribery with a unanimous decision to vacate former Virginia governor Robert McDonnell’s conviction for corruption. Written by the Court’s most ardent advocate for the corporations-are-people, money-is-speech fantasy that is remaking American politics and governance—Chief Justice John Roberts—Monday’s decision in McDonnell v. United States places another link in the chain of protection for influence peddling that Roberts and his colleagues have been forging.

    “Governor Robert McDonnell accepted nearly $200,000 in cash and luxury goods, including a Rolex watch and flights in a private jet, in exchange for using the Governor’s office to help a business. The Supreme Court today held that although the Governor and his aides took action—with state resources—on behalf of the business, those actions do not go far enough to constitute ‘official actions’ without prosecutors proving still more, creating an additional hurdle before corrupt conduct is considered illegal,” explains Noah Bookbinder, the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). “This narrow reading of the law will seriously impede law enforcement’s efforts to clamp down on corruption. The Supreme Court essentially just told elected officials that they are free to sell access to their office to the highest bidder. If you want the government to listen to you, you had better be prepared to pay up.”
    “This ruling opens the way for corporate executives and wealthy individuals to undermine our democracy…”

    CREW is just one good-government group that is expressing outrage at a court decision that Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer says “greatly weakens existing legal protections against government corruption. ”“We’re very disappointed that the court took such a narrow view of what amounts to bribery under the law,” says Scott Nelson, an attorney who did the legal work on an exceptionally strong amicus brief that was filed in regard to the McDonnellcase by Public Citizen and Democracy 21. “This ruling opens the way for corporate executives and wealthy individuals to undermine our democracy by buying influence at the state level.” While Nelson says he is “pleased that the court didn’t accept the constitutional arguments made by McDonnell that the First Amendment protects quid pro quo payoffs made to government officials to influence government policy,” he and other serious observers understand that will come as little comfort for citizens who lack the resources to buy elections or to buy access to public officials.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    LIKE THIS? GET MORE OF OUR BEST REPORTING AND ANALYSIS
    The legalized-bribery argument advanced by Roberts seeks to suggest that former Governor McDonnell was engaged in some sort of constituent service—or, in legal parlance, “honest service”—when he accepted lavish “gifts” from a businessman and then used his position to arrange meetings and to provide access to other officials whose actions could benefit the businessman. Roberts acknowledged that McDonnell’s actions were “distasteful.” But the chief justice still suggested that it was acceptable for a businessman to effectively buy the lobbying services of powerful officials with expensive gratuities—so long as the officials serve as facilitators rather than formal decision makers. But, of course, that facilitation can be of enormous service to those who are wealthy enough to engage the services of a governor.

    “This ruling opens the door to a ‘pay to play’ culture in government.” — Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer

    “The facts in this case were not about a public official’s normal ‘responsiveness’ to a constituent. They were about a brazen and successful attempt to buy an official’s endorsement of and support for a product and that official’s assistance in promoting that product within the government,” says Wertheimer, who explains: “This ruling opens the door to a ‘pay to play’ culture in government, so long as the gift-receiving official does not make a government decision or take an official government action. In essence, the Supreme Court has said it is perfectly legal for an officeholder to sell certain types of actions taken by the officeholder in return for large amounts of money going into the officeholder’s pocket.” This is an accurate assessment of an atrocious decision by a Court that has already done severe harm to democracy.

    The McDonnell ruling cannot be allowed to stand. Yet it will not be easy to overturn. Of course, prosecutors should continue to go after corrupt politicians, and lower courts should continue to take cases that might lead to a reversal—or at least a clarification—of Monday’s wrongheaded ruling. Legislators can and should take steps to specifically define official wrongdoing in a way that signals it is unacceptable for officials to accept expensive gifts and then arrange meetings for their benefactors. And future presidents should appoint justices who recognize the need to address the culture of corruption that has infected our politics and governance.

    At the same time, citizens have every right to demand absolute assurance that jurists will not continue to create new forms of legalized bribery. This includes advocacy for a constitutional response. Just as it was appropriate to argue—as 17 states and more than 700 communities now have—for a constitutional amendment to overturn the anti-democratic Citizens Uniteddecision, so it is appropriate to argue for a constitutional amendment to overturn the anti-democratic McDonnell decision. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    JOHN NICHOLS TWITTER John Nichols is The Nation’s national affairs correspondent. He is the co-author, with Robert W. McChesney, of People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy, published in March 2016 by Nation Books.

  3. Wow, the professionalism, impartiality and efficiency of the MACC should be lauded.

    We should be seeing a new round of promotions of MACC officers. Too bad the Commissioner and his deputy have to leave before their contract expires.

    If convicted and jailed, LGE will not be standing for election at GE14. Hooray!

    A big thank you to the voters of K. Kangsar and Sungei Besar. New bridges, roads, mosques, temples, etc, should be sprouting out at these two places?

  4. Methinks it’s a strategic mistake.
    While LGE has to answer to his ill-conceived Bungle-lo-gate purchase, many – especially the Penangites – will see it as Political persecution. DAP flunkies are not the only folks enraged, but also those of us who are awaiting the outcome of Epic Grand Larceny cum Money Laundry being conducted in 4 continents.

    MACC certainly ain’t toothless – just that, they are blunt political instruments more fit to bludgeon and bruise rather than being surgically incisive. Therein is what we call Selective Prosecution.

    This case is gonna drag out some.. especially if the evidence is weak. The AGC, being a sycophantic creature of Jibros has lost it a long time ago. Ascending Juris-stricture.

  5. When it comes to Opposition, MACC is quick to arrest but when it comes to UMNOb and BN politicos, they take forever to investigate. Alas the situation in Malaysia. So much for the talk that MACC is independent and the vows made by the Chief Commissioner that he will remain independent and act without fear or favor.

  6. Sarawak voters, SG Besar Voters, Kuala Kangsar voters and most of all, Hadi’s PAS did this.

  7. Totally amazing. Even if the allegations are true, it means that Guan Eng benefited by less than US $1 million, the difference between what he paid and what the market value supposedly is. Meanwhile — speaking of real estate — The Wall Street Journal has carefully documented that young Riza Aziz used money diverted from 1MDB to buy a US$34 million town home in London, a $33.5 million condo in New York City, and a $17.5 million mansion in Beverly Hills. That’s a total of $85 million.

  8. The country has lost its bearing. Najib is listing slowly as many MPs as possible to place them under seditious act and other criminal offences to charge them in court when it comes close to GE14 so that they cannot file the nomination papers.

  9. As someone who is not a fan of the DAP esp the Komtar Potentate, this really blows. It is also drenched with racism. To witness that piece of filth Abdul Rahman Dahlan go on about how the DAP is not clean and having faith in the MACC, is just too much. This is a joke. But I suppose as long as Najib is playing ball with the West, this façade of normalcy continues. Talk about what makes us human.

  10. F@#*king prostitutes! Even prostitutes have principles. These guys are just the hatchet men for somebody and are mercenaries. The biggest corrupt crook is still out there and they are framing LGE to distract attention.

  11. LGE is partly to blame.

    Even if he or his wife has a parking ticket or his pet dog litters the sidewalk or his dressing is a little too expensive, it will be made an issue and blown out of all proportion because that is the nature of politics and political survival in this country, or indeed anywhere.

    He should have been more like his father living just above the poverty line. We don’t expect a CM to do that of course but this is not the time to take any risk, however small.

    He may be completely innocent or has a solid defence, but knowing the judge who will be “selected” to prosecute him and with the AG himself taking personal charge, Anwar Ibrahim’s 2 sodomy trials should tell him what is going to happen.

    But if he is really guilty as charged, then he is being both corrupt and stupid, and don’t deserve to go to Putrajaya. We will never know the whole truth, only he knows.

    His other problem is Mahathir, (someone who could do and say anything but would only be “interviewed” by the police over coffee), will find it hard to say a few good words for him because of Sodomy 1.

    Karma, Karma…….

  12. Once again, LKY is proven right.

    Politicians, civil servants also need to live, to send their kids to good universities, to take annual family holidays, to have enough savings for an easy retirement, some may even need to support more than one wife. One way to do all this is through corruption, especially for career politicians and civil servants of all levels.

    So what to do given such realities? We cannot ask our politicians, civil servants and their families to sacrifice for us without been adequately compensated openly?

    Answer, pay everyone so well that it does not pay to be corrupt, and if found out, absolutely no mercy, however high or low, whatever the amount involved. But to do that you also need to grow the economy well so that the country is rich enough to do that.

    Many did not agree with LKY’s methods in many things or just hated him because he put his peers to shame and critics to lick their wounds, but at least he got these two most important aspects of good governance right and Singapore is what it is today and for some time to come yet.

  13. I agree with TL Man. The Opposition must be squeaky clean.

    Ignorance (of the bungalow’s market value) is no excuse.

  14. Public interest requires MACC must be made,at the very least,CONDITIONALLY ACCOUNTABLE to the parliament, not at the direction of the AG, of which appointment is,in turn made by the PM.

    The people,leaders,institutions, assemblymen and MPs from the divide need to empowered themselves to demand for it.

  15. Quote:- “Public interest requires MACC must be made,at the very least,CONDITIONALLY ACCOUNTABLE to the parliament, not at the direction of the AG, of which appointment is,in turn made by the PM”

    It does not matter what fail safe system you have or what ironclad safeguards are in place or even if the AG is subject to vetting by Parliament or a Royal Commission before being appointed, whether by the Agong or Parliament itself, someone has to recommend a person to be vetted and appointed.

    The power to recommend has to fall on someone the general body of electorate has given the mandate, even if indirectly, (or even grudgingly), as in our Westminster parliamentary system, to run the government and therefore the country. This person has to be the PM because given our adversarial parliamentary system there is no way all members of parliament from diverse political parties can agree on anyone and deadlock is assured.

    So ultimately it is the integrity of the person at the top that really count in every aspect of government, (or indeed in any organisation, public or private), and not just on the appointment of the AG.

    Once appointed, the AG has to act independently of all political, commercial, racial, religious pressures and directives. A lot to ask, but at least the AG must try and seen to be trying. That’s all we can ask of another human being and of a system of government run by human beings. But along the way the 3Rs, Ringgit, Race, Religion got in the way and thus the history, past and future, of Malaysia will be decided and written, and perhaps re-written.

  16. LGE is stupid!

    He does not even know how to be corrupt!

    A good leader not only need to be good himself but he must also be smart about what is going on in the society. How is he going to fight corruption in the event that he is in pitrajaya.

  17. YB Lim Guan Eng wrote this:

    The two charges against me under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act and the Penal Code for corrupt practice are a clear act of political persecution motivated solely to destroy me as Penang chief minister.

    I had explained to MACC that the purchase of the bungalow from Phang Li Koon is above-board, an arms-length transaction on a willing buyer and seller basis without any coercion or special favours granted from me or the state government.

    Phang is a friend of my wife and has no active business relationship with the state government. She is not a housing developer and the bungalow she sold me for RM2.8 million was built in the 1980s.

    There have been attempts to draw similarities between my case and former Selangor menteri besar Mohd Khir Toyo. This is wrong.

    Unlike Khir Toyo’s case, Phang did not make a loss of RM5 million but recorded a small profit of RM300,000 from her original purchase price of RM2.5 million.

    Unlike Khir Toyo’s case, Phang is not a housing developer that has to be reliant on state government to continue her business.

    On the second charge relating to the approval of Magnificent Emblem Sdn Bhd’s (MESB) application to re-zone its land from agricultural to residential use, MESB did not succeed in re-zoning its property to residential (purpose). The property still remains an agricultural land.

    What benefit is there to MESB when it could not get final re-zoning approval to agricultural (use) from Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Pinang?

    I am also puzzled by what started off as a vicious political attack on me selling out Taman Manggis land meant for the poor has came to nothing. Why all the hype about Taman Manggis land by BN ministers then?

    Clearly, there is nothing wrong with Taman Manggis land sale and instead I am charged with making a decision for MESB that finally did not gain them any benefit.

    Sadly, there is no corruption with huge RM50 billion debts or RM2.6 billion or RM4 billion in your personal bank accounts. But it is now corruption even when the alleged corrupt party did not gain any benefit.

    I will not submit to such dirty and vicious political plays to destroy my reputation or Penang’s image as the cleanest and best-run state in Malaysia.

    We are proud of our open competitive tenders and proud of our accolades from Transparency International and the annual Auditor-General’s Reports.

    We will not allow BN to throw mud to hide its own corruption scandals. We will prove our innocence in court.

    We will fight to prove that the Pakatan Harapan government is a people-centric government that upholds its principles of integrity, justice, freedom and democracy.

    There is still hope for a Malaysia that is clean and free from corruption, abuse of power and oppression. We must not allow BN to steal our children’s future as they have stolen ours.

    What type of country do we want our children to grow up when those who gained benefits and donations amounting to billions of ringgit are not charged with corruption while those who gained no benefit are prosecuted for corruption?

    BN can prosecute me but it will not kill my passion to free Malaysia from corruption.

    BN can victimise me but will not crush my spirit to free Malaysia from those who steal our children’s future.

    BN can even humiliate me by unnecessarily detaining me overnight but will not succeed in changing white to black and black to white. Right cannot become wrong and wrong cannot become right.

    BN will not break my party’s unity – we stand together as leaders and members to battle for reforms towards a better Malaysia with freedom, justice and democracy.

    If BN feels that they can bend or break me by arresting me, they are wrong! I will die standing (rather) than live on bended knees. A free Malaysia, a fair Malaysia, a prosperous Malaysia for all is worth fighting for!

  18. Being a clever and powerful and popular CM of a State will not provide one the immunity and non-scrutiny of any surreptitious back dealings. You are being watched like a hawk and yet you put your leg into quick sand. How stupid can that be.

    Don’t merely focus on suspect machinations of MACC alone but focus on Guan Eng’s as well. There is a clear officious link between him and the woman who sold him the bungalow for a eye-popping under-valued price. Approving industrial or agricultural land to be converted as residential land, by it self, is no crime. It happens in all States all the time. Without it, development and progress will not take place. But here the woman owner who sold the bungalow cheap to the CM also happens to be the major shareholder of the company which got the approval to have a swath of agricultural land in the State to be converted to residential zone.

    It is silly of him as CM to say that he does not know about the market value prices of properties in his State and worse still, pass the buck to his wife.

    I think he deserves some time behind bars.

  19. “Many did not agree with LKY’s methods in many things or just hated him because he put his peers to shame and critics to lick their wounds,……”

    Nah. I despise Harry [as much as his fans] who approve of locking up innocent political opponents on trumped up charges or just on his say so because some people base good governance on mostly material concerns.

    What is happening the LGE is exactly the kind of shit Harry would pull but he would get away with it because his fans base do not have principles merely materialistic expectations.

  20. I bought my house about 18 yrs ago for about 180k. The house was abt 10yrs old then. Subsequently I saw d original sales document and found out that the originsl purchase price was about 180k. The market price could hv easily been 230k – 250k.
    I do not know d seller. This was a case of willing buyer willing seller. I presume such instances of house seller prepared to sell their house at below market price does happen from time to time. There is no law against this so why are they prosecuting LGE for this?

  21. Agree with Wayne. If LGE naive about buying the bungalow then he needs to get out Malaysia politic. Why don’t stay in CM official resident to eliminate any suspiscion. I do pity LGE but I can’t help he deserve it for allowing BN to prosecute.

    Salam

  22. Home » India
    Ministers can take bribes, not demand: Bodo chief
    Jul 11, 2016 – bY MANOJ ANAND | GUWAHAT-INDIA]

    Now an Indian politician states that Ministers can take bribes but not demand!!!
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Also refer to my full comments above dated 29,6,16:
    The Supreme Court That Allowed Corporations to Buy Elections Has Now Approved the Bribing of Governors.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Locally it is only perceived to be a common culture and apparently acceptable.

    First US and now India. What is the position of leaders in other developed and developing countries especially those who are campaigning against bribery and corruption?

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