KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 ― The Penang Chinese business community will never welcome or invite “corrupt” politicians to the state or any of its events, its spokesman Hong Yeam Wah said today.

The Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce (PCCC) president told Malaysiakini the association members had neither invited nor welcomed Umno politician Datuk Seri Najib Razak who made a trip there yesterday.

Hong also appeared incensed that another person claimed to have acted on behalf of Penang’s ethnic Chinese business community yesterday.

“How could he represent us? PCCC has a history of over a hundred years, and more than 10,000 members covering all industries in Penang.

“Almost all business people here are our members, not his members,” Hong was quoted as saying, referring to Federation of Malaysia Zhang Clan Association president Anthony Chang.

The news portal reported Najib being celebrated in his Penang visit yesterday with Chang claiming the welcome signalled the community’s endorsement of the Pekan MP’s leadership.

“We will not invite or welcome Najib to our events, or welcome him to Penang,” Hong told Malaysiakini.

The PCCC president did not want to comment on other Penang community leaders who endorsed Najib, telling the portal that it was “their business” to do so.

“For PCCC, we would not have invited him to come. Businesspeople always emphasise that leaders should have integrity and are free of corruption,” he was quoted saying.

He added that Najib had “committed a crime” and was in Penang for a “somewhat political event” but reiterated PCCC’s stand that “leaders should not be corrupt”.

Najib has been convicted and sentenced to 12 years in jail for misappropriating RM42 million from SRC International Sdn Bhd,a former subsidiary of debt-riddled sovereign investment fund 1MDB, but is free to move about as his appeal is pending at the Federal Court.

The former prime minister is also on trial for a slew of other charges in connection with 1MDB.

He visited the island state yesterday and gave a speech at the Second Penang International Business and Investment Summit.

Chang, who was a former PCCC president back in 2018, reportedly claimed that the Penang Chinese community missed Najib’s leadership.