For Khir Toyo, case against Guan Eng is ‘poetic justice’

Former Selangor mentri besar Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo (second from right), Putrajaya, September 29, 2015. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Former Selangor mentri besar Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo (second from right), Putrajaya, September 29, 2015. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 2 — Former Selangor mentri besar Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo is calling it “poetic justice” that Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is now facing charges of corruption in court.

Khir, once convicted of corruption himself, said while he sympathised with Lim, he felt it most appropriate to tell the DAP “padan muka” (serves you right), the same comment he claimed was issued by Parti Cinta Malaysia (PCM) vice-president Datuk Huan Cheng Guan.

“When I was jailed, the DAP saw it as a major victory for them,” he pointed out in a statement posted on his Facebook page.

“For me, his prosecution is poetic justice,” Khir added.

He explained he was commenting on Lim’s case because he felt compelled to do so after the latter issued comments in the media regarding his corruption charge.

Khir noted that Lim had refuted comparisons made between their cases, claiming that in his matter, which revolves around the purchase of a home at below market value, the seller, businesswoman Phang Li Koon, did not lose RM5 million from the sale and instead made a small profit of RM300,000.

Lim had also said that unlike in Khir’s case, Phang was not a housing developer who depends on business from the state.

“My answer, ‘LGE skipped the fact that unlike how he bought a fully completed, ready-to-move house, I bought a partly-complete property without a CF (certificate of fitness) for RM3.5 million’.

“The price was in accordance with the assessment done by a competent real estate appraiser and an international bank,” Khir told Lim.

“I’d like to remind LGE that the court’s decision in my matter did not take into account that my house seller did not receive any benefits from the Selangor administration led by me.

“I was convicted of the charge under Section 165 of the Penal Code not for receiving bribes but for abusing public office to obtain an item of value without adequate compensation (less than the actual value) from a person who does official business with me,” he pointed out.

Lim is facing two charges for corruption - one under Section 165 of the Penal Code and another Section 23 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Act (MACC) 2009 — over his approval of an application from Magnificent Emblem to convert a piece of land from agricultural to residential use, as well as over his purchase of a house from the firm’s director, Phang, for RM2.8 million, which was below the property’s market value of RM4.27 million.

According to Khir, Lim’s charge under the MACC Act is for a “more serious” offence.

“As such, I advise Lim Guan Eng to stop comparing my case with his,” he said.

Khir was released on parole earlier this year and finally regained full freedom in May, after serving half his 12-months jail term for corruption.

He was convicted in 2011 for using his powers as a civil servant to obtain two plots of land and a mansion in Shah Alam, and finally imprisoned last year after the Federal Court upheld his conviction.

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