KUALA LUMPUR: The Attorney-General has been granted leave by a High Court to initiate contempt of court proceedings against Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng in relation to his press statements on his graft case.
The A-G said that Lim issued media statements knowing that it would interfere with the administration of justice, erode public confidence against the judiciary, and insult the dignity and integrity of the Malaysian courts.
Yesterday, High Court (Appellate and Special Powers) judge Justice Hanipah Farikullah allowed the application for leave to initiate the committal proceedings against Lim after hearing submissions by senior federal counsel Datuk Amarjeet Singh in chambers.
Speaking to reporters later, Amarjeet said the application was premised on Lim’s allegations made through certain media statements which scandalised the court and interfered with the administration of justice.
“We will file the court papers to initiate the committal proceedings against Lim within two weeks,” added Amarjeet.
Lim’s lawyer Gobind Singh Deo told The Star that he was notified that the court papers would be served on them later.
In his grounds to support the application, the A-G said he had to ensure that the judiciary and justice system were not insulted to the extent of causing uncertainty over determination of cases in a fair manner.
In his ex-parte originating summons obtained through a file search, the A-G said he had to ensure that any act which scandalised the courts and judges, and the administration of justice should not be tolerated.
He said public confidence in the Malaysian justice system has to be defended especially when its cases were pending in court for determination.
Among others, the A-G said the statement by Lim during a press conference after the launching of “Simposium Dr Wu Lian Teh” by the Penang Institute in Jalan Brown, George Town Penang, which stated that his charges were a conspiracy and that Lim would be jailed, read in totality would clearly imply that the court was also involved in the alleged conspiracy and would imprison him on “trumped-up corruption charges”.
Lim had on June 30 claimed trial at the George Town High Court in Penang to two charges of corrupt practices.
Lim was allowed a bail of RM1mil pending disposal of the case.
Lim, 56, is accused of using his position as a public servant to obtain gratification for himself and his wife Betty Chew, by approving an application by Magnificent Emblem to convert two lots of agricultural land in the southwest district for residential purposes during a state planning committee meeting on July 18, 2014.
Lim is also accused of using his position to obtain gratification by purchasing his house from businesswoman Phang Li Koon at RM2.8mil, which was below the property market value of RM4.27mil on July 28, last year.