KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — Lim Guan Eng today dared Umno’s Datuk Shabudin Yahaya to accuse him again of committing corruption but outside the Dewan Rakyat this time, so the latter would not be protected by parliamentary privilege.
The Penang chief minister noted that Shabudin had snubbed his challenge for a one-on-one meeting today to discuss any proof the latter may have that he had corruptly purchased his George Town home, and said it was unfair that he was not given the chance to defend himself.
“I was very disappointed that Shabudin didn’t dare accept my invitation to meet this morning so he could furnish proof of his allegations in Parliament.
“I was wrong to assume he was a brave leader who would have the courage to face any challenge in order to uncover the truth,” Lim said in a statement.
“This is not the attitude of a responsible and moral leader. Therefore, I would like him to repeat the corruption allegation he made against me outside Parliament so that I can have the chance to sue him for defamation,” he added.
The DAP secretary-general had on Friday asked to meet with Shabudin today to discuss his allegations openly before the media.
But last night, Shabudin sent out a media invitation to say that he will hold a press conference at 11am this morning at his office, the same time Lim had proposed to meet with him.
The Tasek Gelugor MP had on Thursday alleged in the Dewan Rakyat that Lim’s purchase of his Jalan Pinhorn home in George Town was the result of a “shady” deal.
The Umno lawmaker claimed to have proof linking the purchase last year to a 2012 sale of government land in Taman Manggis to private developers to build a private hospital and hotel.
He alleged that Lim bought the house for below market price from a seller who was was linked to the company that bought the Taman Manggis land.
“I was prepared to hear his argument and review whatever proof he (Shabudin) had in today’s meeting,” Lim said.
“Unfortunately, Shabudin backed down and ran away from the opportunity to prove that his allegation wasn’t defamatory. This is unfair on me as the victim,” he added.
Lim also said that he will be writing to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to urge the agency to speed up its probe on the matter and to make sure it conducts its duties professionally, without any interference from third parties.
The agency said on Friday that it will launch an investigation into Shabudin’s claims.