Uncategorized Malaysian ex-finance minister and his wife face graft charges

Malaysian ex-finance minister and his wife face graft charges

Lim Guan Eng was a minister for nearly two years until the reformist he was in collapsed in February, as a new pact led by former allies and political rivals took over.

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A Malaysian ex- minister and his were hit with corruption charges Tuesday, the latest episode in a crackdown against dissent since a scandal-plagued party returned to power.

Lim Guan Eng was a minister for nearly two years until the reformist government he was in collapsed in February, as a new pact led by former allies and political rivals took over.

A former chief minister of the northern state of Penang from 2008 to 2018, Lim was charged with abusing his position to get 372,009 ringgit ($88,573) in gratification for his wife Betty Chew over a workers’ dormitory project.

Pleading not guilty at a court in the city of Butterworth on Tuesday, he said the accusations against him and Chew were “baseless and politically motivated”.

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“…dragging my wife, I think this is an act of political vengeance against me,” he said in a press conference broadcast live on .

“I’m very upset. You want to go, go for me. Why do you want to go for my wife?”

Chew, a lawyer, was hit with three money-laundering charges, while a businesswoman was also charged with abetting Lim.

Both women pleaded not guilty.

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Tuesday’s was the third such corruption charge that Lim faced in recent days.

He was charged in Kuala Lumpur on Friday for soliciting a bribe over a $1.5 billion construction project, and faced a second accusation in Penang on Monday for receiving a bribe over the same project.

Lim, who also leads the Democratic Action Party (DAP), was a main member of the that came to power at the 2018 elections, which unseated graft-riddled regime that governed Malaysia for six decades.

Since then, authorities have launched probes into opposition politicians, journalists and activists, in what critics say is an effort to stifle dissent.

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