After daughter-in-law’s arrest, Kit Siang urges govt to stop political persecutions

Lim Kit Siang said the charge brought against Guan Eng was probably the first involving a political leader accused of corruption where no specific sum of gratification was defined. —  Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Lim Kit Siang said the charge brought against Guan Eng was probably the first involving a political leader accused of corruption where no specific sum of gratification was defined. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 8 — DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang today appealed to the government to eschew political discrimination and persecution, following his daughter-in-law’s arrest by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). 

Condemning the arrest of his son Lim Guan Eng’s wife Betty Chew, Kit Siang said learning of such strong-handed tactics left him in shock, adding that Chew was only guilty of being a loving and loyal wife and mother of four great kids. 

“But let us draw a line in the sand. 

“Persecution and discrimination against political opponents is hitting below the belt and should be avoided, but there must be some decency and honour in national life by not involving innocent family members. 

“I hereby make an open appeal to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Idris Harun, and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to maintain some decency and honour in public life and drop money-laundering charges against my daughter-in-law Betty Chew,” said Kit Siang in statement today. 

Kit Siang stressed that his daughter-in-law was not a notorious ‘big-time villain’ in Penang involved in money laundering, drug trafficking and terrorist funding, as suggested by the name of  Anti-Money Laundering and Anti Terrorism Financing Act [AMLA] that is set to be used against her. 

He stressed that Chew, a former Melaka state legislative lawmaker, was not a person of materialistic desires. 

“I have known Betty for three decades. 

“Search her house and you will not find, for example, 12,000 pieces of jewellery comprising 2,200 rings, 1,400 necklaces, 2,100 bracelets, 2,800 pairs of earrings, 1,600 brooches, 14 tiaras or 423 luxury wristwatches — notably from Rolex, Chopard and Richard Mille — 234 luxury sunglasses; notably from Versace and Cartier, 567 luxury handbags from 72 brands, notably from Chanel, Prada, Versace, Bijan, KWANPEN and Judith Leiber, 272 handbags from Hermès or RM116 million in over 26 different currencies.

“Why, then, is there an attempt to paint Betty Chew as the second [Datin Seri] Rosmah Mansor of Malaysia?,” wrote Lim, in reference to former prime minster Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s wife. 

Chew was arrested yesterday after being summoned by the MACC in Georgetown, Penang, where she was detained and later released on bail. 

She is expected to be charged at the Butterworth Sessions Court on Tuesday alongside her husband Guan Eng and businesswoman Phang Li Koon, for offences that still remain unclear. 

Guan Eng on Friday had claimed trial to one charge of soliciting a bribe from the contractors of the Penang undersea tunnel project, where he was accused of asking for a 10 per cent gratification from future profits potentially obtained by the contractors. 

Kit Siang said he was not surprised when his son was arrested for corruption charges, saying it was done to break Guan Eng’s political spirit, likening yesterday’s experience similar to the latter’s prison sentence in 1998 through 1999. 

He said the charge brought against Guan Eng was probably the first involving a political leader accused of corruption where no specific sum of gratification was defined. 

“I believe in my son that he neither asked for money nor received any money as proven by the fact that no such corruption money was found on him in cash or in his personal bank account,” he said.

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