GEORGE TOWN (Bernama): Former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng has expressed his gratitude after being acquitted of the corruption charges over the purchase of a bungalow allegedly below the market value.Met by reporters outside the court on Monday, Lim, in a soft and measured tone, expressed his gratitude as his name was now clean from any corruption charges.
“I am very grateful that the ‘selective prosecution' that has brought a lot of stress on me, my family and to Phang (Phang Li Koon who also faces the corruption charges) is finally over.
“Now we can clear our name, we know it was from the previous regime. Today, Phang and I were prepared for any kind of possibility.
“I am grateful to God, my lawyers, my family members who always stand together with me, as well as my supporters who have been with me,” he said.
Lim, who is now a Finance Minister, added that he was relieved to be free from any allegation of corruption and would hold an event to celebrate the victory.
He said he could now focus on the crucial task of saving the Malaysian economy.
“I will continue to work on a more important task to save the economy of Malaysia and bring about a better change for the future of our children.
“I am also very grateful to Malaysians because although I have been slandered with these allegations, they still strongly support my leadership, thanks to my party, the leaders who stick with me, without doubting or questioning me as a clean leader,” he said.
Earlier, the Penang High Court acquitted both Lim and Phang of the corruption charges over the purchase of the bungalow at below market value.
The prosecution had dropped the charges and sought an order for both accused to be discharged not amounting to an acquittal.
However, lawyer Ramkarpal Singh representing Lim and Datuk V. Sithambaram acting on behalf of Phang requested for their clients to be discharged and acquitted of the charges.
Outside the courtroom, both lawyers told the media that the defence team welcomed the court's decision to acquit their clients.
However, the acquittal has ignited a firestorm of criticism from civil society and even the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, which said it was shocked by the court's decision. - Bernama