Malaysia's Attorney-General warns Penang Chief Minister over comments on graft charges

Malaysian Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali (pictured) said Lim's latest comments were tantamount to an assault on his integrity as the public prosecutor.
Malaysian Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali (pictured) said Lim's latest comments were tantamount to an assault on his integrity as the public prosecutor.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysian Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali has issued a final warning to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to stop commenting on the criminal charges he currently faces.

In a statement on Saturday (July 23), Mohamed Apandi said that he was issuing the warning because Lim's latest comments were tantamount to an assault on his integrity as the public prosecutor.

"He (Lim) has done so on the very day he was charged in court and I have already cautioned him through The Star to stop doing so and in fact have asked his lawyers to advise him," said Mohamed Apandi.

Mohamed Apandi added that failing which, he would have to defend himself against the baseless accusations that questioned his integrity and in the course of doing so, may have to disclose evidence that the prosecution had against Lim.

"Suffice to say here at the moment, that most of the evidence against him (Lim) are documentary in nature and all those documents are in my possession," he said.

Lim has claimed trial to charges made against him for alleged graft.

Lim is accused of using his position as Chief Minister to obtain gratification for himself and his wife Betty Chew by approving an application to convert two lots of agricultural land for residential purposes during a state planning committee meeting on July 18, 2014.

He also faces a charge for using his position to obtain gratification by purchasing his bungalow from businesswoman Phang Li Koon for RM 2.8 million (S$930,000), which was below the property's market value of RM4.27mil on July 28, 2015.

Lim said on Saturday he will most likely be sent to jail over corruption charges.

He claimed that the charges of graft and abuse of power were a political conspiracy by the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition.

"Everyone knows that Lim cannot be saved. Even though Lim cannot be saved, the state can still be saved, so that is why we need the state election," he told the reporters after launching a symposium at Penang Institute on Saturday morning.

Lim's Democratic Action Party has said it wants to call early elections for local seats in the opposition-held state.

He said Penangites will know on Monday night if a state snap election will be held soon, after the DAP and its allies in the Pakatan Harapan opposition alliance hold discussions on the matter.