Other Malaysia state leaders in the dock

Selangor Menteri Besar Muhammad Muhammad Taib speaking at an election rally in 2013.
Selangor Menteri Besar Muhammad Muhammad Taib speaking at an election rally in 2013. PHOTO: THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, facing two counts of corruption, is not the first top executive of a Malaysian state to be charged while in office.

In April 1997, then Selangor Menteri Besar (Malay for chief minister) Muhammad Muhammad Taib was forced to resign after he was charged in an Australian court with failing to declare RM3.8 million in various foreign currencies found on him at Brisbane Airport. He was acquitted subsequently but he did not regain his post.

There were also three court cases involving former chief ministers.

In 2010, former Selangor menteri besar Khir Toyo was charged with corruption after he allegedly bought, while still menteri besar, a bungalow from a businessman for a sum below market price, in a case that some say has echoes of Lim's case.


Dr Khir had by then stepped down from the post after the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition lost Selangor to the opposition in the 2008 General Election, partly due to public anger over the scandal.

Dr Khir appealed but was eventually sentenced to one year's jail. He was released just last month. The bungalow, bought for RM3.5 million, or about half its market value, was ordered to be confiscated.

Another high-profile case involved former Malacca chief minister Abdul Rahim Tamby Chik. He was charged in 1994 with raping a minor. The case was later withdrawn, with the public prosecutor citing a lack of evidence.

And then there was the case of former Selangor menteri besar Harun Idris in the 1970s.

From 1975 to 1977, he was convicted of several charges of corruption and sentenced to six years' jail. He received a royal pardon in 1981.

Reme Ahmad

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2016, with the headline 'Other state leaders in the dock'. Print Edition | Subscribe