GEORGE TOWN: Penang Umno has questioned Lim Guan Eng’s decision to not resign or take leave of absence from his post as Chief Minister during his coming trial on two charges of corrupt practice.
State Umno chief Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Osman said undue pressure would be put on the state government officials who could be called by the prosecution to testify as witnesses in the court proceedings if he does not step down or go on leave.
“In addition to the corruption charges, he is also facing committal proceedings for contempt of court filed against him by Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohd Apandi Ali on Sept 21.
“Ethically a chief minister should resign or take leave when facing charges in court, in order to protect the integrity of the state and his post,” he said yesterday.
Zainal Abidin said the state Umno had previously urged Lim to step down or take leave as Chief Minister until the case is over.
Lim had on June 30 claimed trial at the George Town High Court in Penang to two charges of corrupt practice.
He 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.