Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Guan Eng denies affair, says he’s not Soi Lek


KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 — The DAP’s Lim Guan Eng today denied having a secret affair with a former aide, saying he was not like political rival Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, who had publicly admitted to extramarital relations in 2008 after video recordings of his trysts were publicly leaked.

The Penang chief minister also challenged today an MCA Malacca state lawmaker to relinquish his immunity and repeat openly the allegations against him and his wife, which Lim denounced as the ruling Barisan Nasional’s smear campaign against him ahead of national polls due within a year.

“I have no close or secret relationship with my former staff. My wife has never assaulted me or anyone in her life.

“Let MCA repeat their allegations publicly so that my wife and [I] can prove in court that, ‘Lim Guan Eng is not Chua Soi Lek!’, he said in a statement.

The allegations had surfaced on a blog believed to be sponsored by MCA supporters.

The blog was set up last year and primarily contains attacks against the DAP and other opposition parties. It is anonymously written.

On Monday, Malacca MCA chief Datuk Gan Tian Loo had accused Lim of having an affair with an aide and demanded the DAP secretary-general’s wife and Malacca assemblyman, Betty Chew, reply to allegations that she had beaten up the woman, resulting in the latter’s transfer out of the Penang CM’s office.

Today, Lim said Gan had abused his assemblyman privileges by making the remarks inside the state assembly, which affords him legal immunity for claims made within.

“I want Gan to repeat his allegations outside (the assembly) so that my wife and [I] can file a legal suit against him for defamation for making such ‘kurang ajar’ or uncouth remarks.

 “If Gan fails to do so, then he has shown himself to be a coward who is unfit to be a leader, an exco member and a wakil rakyat (assemblyman),” he said.

The DAP leader strongly objected to the allegations, which he said smacked of “gutter politics”, and reminded the public that he and his family have been repeatedly subjected to personal attacks from BN lawmakers and supporters.

He gave as example unsubstantiated claims published on Umno’s official website that his 15-year-old son had sexually molested a female classmate, which was spread by the ruling Malay party’s Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin and pro-Umno bloggers.

Lim had filed police reports to stop the slander but claimed the authorities had failed to act.

He also pointed out that Umno has failed to offer an apology after the purported victim, Hong Kong chess champion Anya Corke, stepped forward to deny she knew Lim or his son. Corke’s picture had been splashed all over pro-Umno media as that of the “victim”.

“Having failed to destroy my son and affect me, the BN media machinery has now undertaken another smear campaign through MCA against my wife.

“Clearly, BN will practise the dirtiest politics to try to topple democratically elected leaders, even attacking innocent members of the family,” the Bagan MP said.

He added that DAP lawmakers have never indulged in gutter politics nor have they misused their parliamentary privilege to attack Dr Chua in Parliament.

The former health minister who was forced to resign from all his government and political posts has since recovered from political exile and returned as MCA president.

Lim will face off against the MCA chief in a second debate this Sunday afternoon, as both political parties race to claw voter support for the next election that could see a regime change in Malaysia.

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