MEDIA STATEMENT: Independent and just trial for Lim and Phang

BERSIH 2.0 is shocked with the arrest of Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng. He is being charged under section 23 and section 165 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act. We also have grave concerns over the arrest of businesswoman, Phang Li Koon.
We are aware that throughout the investigation carried out by the MACC, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has given his utmost support. There is, therefore, no need to arrest nor for the intimidating, heavy presence of MACC and police officers at KOMTAR. Instead, MACC could have issued an order for the Chief Minister and Ms Phang to be present in court. The statement made by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Abdul Rahman Dahlan, that the arrest shows DAP is not clean, was uncalled for as he had pre-judged the case publicly before it even went to trial.
The rule of thumb is that both of them are innocent until proven guilty.
The manner in which YAB Lim was arrested reflects selective prosecution as there are many other cases on corruption which have not been dealt with nor with such speed. The major cases involve the 1MDB scandal, including a revelation by the Switzerland’s chief prosecutor that about US$4 billion (RM16.6 billion) appeared to have been misappropriated from Malaysian state companies. Others include the SRC scandal and the fact that Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Najib Razak was accused of channelling over RM2.67 billion (nearly USD 700 million) from 1MDB, a government-run strategic development company, to his personal bank accounts. Investigations into all these cases are still pending for more than 2 years.
While BERSIH 2.0 believes that the case should be brought to the court and YAB Lim will then be able to respond publicly, we also want to throw caution to the court. We strongly urge the judge to show his or her independence and fairness when delivering justice in the case.
Issued by the BERSIH 2.0 Steering Committee