Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has asked if it is wrong to know someone who had bid and won a tender for a project to build a private hospital on a plot of land - supposedly earmarked for affordable housing - in Penang.

Lim, the DAP secretary-general, refuted allegations by Barisan National that he has personal interest in the project as he does not sit on the tender board which approved the bid placed by a private company for the land.

"If I know someone, and that person makes a bid for a tender (and wins), is that wrong?" Lim asked during a press conference today after handing over a cheque of RM100,000 to national badminton star Lee Chong Wei.

"Where is the proof that I have personal interest (or a stake) in this project when I do not even sit on the tender board?

"No state executive councillors sit on this board as well, so how could six of us have any personal interest in this project?" he queried further.

BN had reportedly questioned if state excos Chow Kon Yeow, Phee Boon Poh, Danny Law Heng Kiang, Wong Hon Wai and Lim's political secretary Ng Wei Aik have personal interest in the project.

This was followed by a recent "expose" by state BN Youth information chief H'ng Khoon Leng who raised suspicion if Lim had “connections" with a certain ‘datuk' whose company has won the bid for the project.

H'ng also questioned if it was Lim who had suggested that the land be sold to this private company to establish a private medical centre in Jalan Zainal Abidin.

What about Najib and Syed Mokhtar?

NONELim said if his rivals - the BN - wants to use this criteria to judge him, they should also use it on Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, who is the coalition's national chairperson.

"Najib knows tycoon Syed Mokhtar AlBukhary and he has won the bid for many projects," Lim added, referring to the latest bid won by the latter to privatise the Penang port.

To denounce the allegations further, Lim cited the example of him "knowing" Lee, who recently won a silver medal in the 2012 London Olympics, coming second to Chinese badminton stud Lin Dan.

"Does this mean Lee cannot be involved at all in any bid for a completely open tender even though he wins the bid for the project in his own capacity and his own merits?" asked Lim.

"Would people then say I have a personal interest in Lee's project since I know him personally? Is this right?"

Lim, the Bagan MP, said the application for the tender has been advertised in several newspapers but he was not surprised that BN may not be aware of the matter.

"They do not know many things, anyway," he quipped.

Allegations blatant lies

However, he slammed his rivals for allegations of having "personal interests" in the project, saying his government was clean and that he was proud to run a clean administration.

He added that the BN, including its state chief Teng Chang Yeow, have made "wild, baseless and irresponsible allegations, which are blatant lies" about him and his state excos who were never involved in the tender process.

He cautioned his detractors not to think that they could regain the government in the coming general elections "just by spreading lies".

Lim reiterated that the one-acre land in Jalan Zainal Abidin was too small to build affordable housing.

"Even federal minister of housing and local government Chor Chee Heung says that we need at least two acres of land to build affordable housing," Lim said.

"Therefore, we have reserved an 11-acre parcel of land in SP Chelliah to build the homes".