AG gets leave for contempt proceedings against Guan Eng

On June 30, Lim Guan Eng pleaded not guilty at the Penang High Court to corruption charges relating to the changing of status of a parcel of land from agricultural zone to housing development zone and purchase of a bungalow at below market price. ― File pic
On June 30, Lim Guan Eng pleaded not guilty at the Penang High Court to corruption charges relating to the changing of status of a parcel of land from agricultural zone to housing development zone and purchase of a bungalow at below market price. ― File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 ― The High Court today granted leave to the Attorney-General (AG) to initiate commital proceedings against Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng over his statements relation to his corruption case.

Judge Datuk Hanipah Farikullah made the decision in her chambers today after hearing submissions by Senior Federal Counsel (SFC) Datuk Amarjeet Singh, who represented AG Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali.

Also present were SFC Suzana Atan, Shamsul Bolhassan and Alice Yoke.

Speaking to reporters later, Amarjeet Singh said the court granted leave to the AG to commit Lim for making allegations that he (AG) had scandalised the courts and interfered with the administration of justice.

“It is concerning certain statements that Lim made in a press statement after he was charged that appeared in social media,” he said, adding that he will file the court papers relation to the commital proceeding against Lim within two weeks.

The AG as the plaintiff had filed an ex-parte originating summons regarding the matter on August 18 and had named Lim as the defendant.

In it, the AG had sought leave for the commital proceeding to have Lim jailed for contempt-of-court for allegedly issuing statements in the print and/or social media which were detrimental to the administration of justice, lead to erosion of the people's confidence in the judicial system and questioned the dignity and integrity of the courts.

The AG is also seeking costs and other relief deemed fit by the court.    

He said the action was taken in his capacity as the custodian of public interest and to ensure the sanctity and integrity of the judiciary and the justice system in the country was always protected and not criticised, shamed and insulted according to one's whims and fancies.

He added that contempt-of-court should be frowned upon failing which doubts could arise on the administration of justice in the country.

According to the AG, statements made by Lim at press conference after the launching of the  “Dr Wu Lian Teh Symposium” by the Penang Institute in Jalan Brown, George Town, Penang that the corruption charges against the Bagan MP were a conspiracy and that he (Lim) would be jailed, could be clearly interpreted as the courts were also being roped in on “trumped up corruption charges”.

On June 30, Lim pleaded not guilty at the Penang High Court to corruption charges relating to the changing of status of a parcel of land from agricultural zone to housing development zone and purchase of a bungalow at below market price.

Lim's case has been set for case management on September 30. ― Bernama