Thousands join Penang chief Lim Guan Eng in solidarity march against graft charges

A crowd wearing colourful red, blue, green and yellow T-shirts joined Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng in a solidarity march on Sunday (July 3) morning.
A crowd wearing colourful red, blue, green and yellow T-shirts joined Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng in a solidarity march on Sunday (July 3) morning. PHOTO: THE STAR/ ASIA NEWS NETWORK

GEORGE TOWN - A crowd wearing colourful red, blue, green and yellow T-shirts joined Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng in a solidarity march on Sunday (July 3) morning.

They gathered at 7am at the Union Street and began marching with Mr Lim, who leads the opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP) his father, veteran opposition leader Lim Kit Siang, in the 2km walk towards the Esplanade, media reports said.

Among the crowd were Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, president of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad Sabu. The two parties form the Pakatan Harapan opposition alliance with DAP.

Malaysiakini estimated the turnout at some 3,000.

The supporters, whose colourful t-shirts were emblazoned with the words Sokong Guan Eng (Support Guan Eng), chanted Sokong Guan Eng and Hidup Guan Eng.

The embattled Mr Lim pleaded not guilty to two graft-related charges on Thursday (June 30) in a case that has sent shaken the country's political landscape.

He claimed trial to the charges related to his purchase of a bungalow at below-market-prices last year and improper change of state land use at the Penang High Court and was released on RM1 million (S$335,300) bail.

 

He faces up to 20 year in jail if convicted under Section 23 of the Anti-Corruption Act and Section 165 of the Penal Code.

The march on Sunday ended at 8.45am after Mr Lim addressed the crowd, The Star reported.

He said Penangites would be angry if they are ever told to purchase an item without a discount, reported Malaysiakini.

"And yet here I am, charged for buying the bungalow at a discount," he said. "I should have taken billions, as those who have billions in their bank accounts have no case against them," he added, alluding to the corruption allegations against Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.

Mr Lim said he was being prosecuted because the ruling Barisan Nasional alliance desperately wanted to recapture the state government.

"Can they do it? Can they do it?" the Chief Minister was quoted as saying.

"No," the crowd shouted in response.