(File pix) Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications (BNSC) director Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan (right). Pix by Raziq Zikry

GEORGE TOWN: ‘Stop fishing for sympathy.’

This was Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications (BNSC) director Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan’s terse message to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

He was responding to Lim’s statement yesterday, in which he said the dates of his corruption trial may affect his candidacy in the 14th General Election.

“It is important to note that Lim was charged with two counts of corruption on June 30, 2016.

“The trial dates are only being scheduled now after such a long delay because of Lim’s attempt to challenge the constitutionality of Section 62 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act — a case that went through the High Court, Court of Appeals and all the way up to the Federal Court.

“Whether this was a deliberate attempt to delay his trial, only Lim knows. Therefore, Lim only has himself to blame if his court dates are scheduled as they are now,” he said today.

Rahman said Lim should be confident in the Malaysian courts as the latter would be allowed to defend himself in an open and transparent manner.

He also said the public would receive the opportunity to look at the evidence against Lim as the trial would be closely watched by the media.

“The case of former Selangor menteri besar Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo, who faced a similar charge, started in 2010 until he was convicted in the year 2015. This will somehow provide comfort to Lim that there is little to fear that he is not able to contest in the coming elections.

“Whether he will win, or whether DAP will keep the Penang state government or not, is of course an entirely different matter altogether,” he added.

On Wednesday, the High Court fixed 23 days from March 26 for Lim’s corruption trial after both the prosecution and defence agreed to an early trial.

On June 30, 2016, Lim had claimed trial to using his public office or position to obtain gratification for himself and his wife, Betty Chew, by approving an application by Magnificent Emblem Sdn Bhd to convert agricultural land to residential purpose during a state planning committee meeting on July 18, 2014.

Lim had also claimed trial to using his position to obtain gratification by purchasing his house from businesswoman Phang Li Koon for RM2.8 million, which was below the property’s market value of RM4.27 million on July 28, 2015.

Phang, who claimed trial to abetting Lim in regards to his purchase of the house on Pinhorn Road would also have her case heard the same time.

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