Gerakan VP: Why get the public to pay for Guan Eng’s bail?

PETALING JAYA: A Gerakan leader has questioned why the DAP is getting members of the public pay for party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng’s RM1mil bail, saying that the former finance minister should have enough funds to do so.

Gerakan vice president Baljit Singh said Lim and top DAP leaders had earned millions when they served as ministers for 22 months before the fall of the Pakatan Harapan government.

“Speaking of salaries, based on the RM86,464.92 he was earning (per month) as finance minister, Guan Eng would have earned RM1,902,228.24 in the 22 months he held the post.

“His basic income as Penang chief minister from March 2008 to May 2018 would have been RM5,675,594 based on a monthly take-home pay of RM46,521.27 over 122 months," he said in a statement Monday (Aug 10).

Baljit added that Guan Eng had sat on numerous boards while serving as chief minister, and if he hadn’t saved much money, he should ask DAP MPs to chip in RM500,000 instead of appealing to members of the public to donate RM10 each..

Last Friday (Aug 7), Guan Eng pleaded not guilty in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court to soliciting gratification to help a company secure the RM6.3bil Penang undersea tunnel project.

The charge under Section 16(a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 carries imprisonment not exceeding 20 years and a fine of no less than five times the value of the bribe or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.

Meanwhile, Gerakan’s Baljit noted that salaries earned by the leaders were posted on the MACC website in November 2018.

“Guan Eng topped everyone else (from the DAP) in terms of earnings, ” he said.

Baljit also criticised DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang for pleading with the Prime Minister and the Attorney General to not pursue money laundering charges against Guan Eng’s wife Betty Chew.

“If DAP truly respected the rule of law, Kit Siang should know better than to seek political interference in trying to get his daughter-in-law off the hook.

“Kit Siang should know better than to go against the party's principles in observing the law and the separation of powers in the government and (its various) institutions – something that the DAP has been fighting for all these years, ” he said.

Chew is expected to be charged at the Butterworth court on Tuesday (Aug 11), believed to be over a land conversion deal and the purchase of a bungalow below market price.

Chew, who was arrested and released on RM50,000 bail last week, would be charged under the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001.

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