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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Jambun: Guan Eng should step down, not do a ‘Pairin’

Jambun: Guan Eng should step down, not do a ‘Pairin’
Joe Fernandez | June 30, 2016

The Penang Chief Minister’s corruption case, said the human rights advocate, must not be allowed to be used by the BN as a tool in its politics of distraction and disruption.

KOTA KINABALU: A human rights advocate urged Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to remember that being charged with corruption in relation to the purchase of his private residence, and a land application, was not about him. “It’s about the DAP and the Opposition.”

“It’s also about the people and the movement to bring about change in Malaysia.”

Daniel John Jambun pleaded with Guan Eng not to “do a Pairin” and instead seize the initiative and step down not only as Chief Minister but vacate his parliamentary and state seats as well. “This is the only way that he can neutralize the karmic forces – cause and reaction — gathering around him.”

“The karmic forces are neutral. It’s human perceptions that see them as good, bad, ugly, evil and beautiful.”

He recalled then Sabah Chief Minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan was charged with three counts of corruption on 6 January 1991. “In hindsight, he should have stepped down and allowed his Deputy, Bernard Giluk Dompok, to take over. Instead, the Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) was bogged down with the case for several years. He was fined on a case by the High Court in January 1994, which led him to call for a snap state election, and it was not until 22 March 2005 that he was acquitted of all charges.

By that time, added Jambun who heads the UK-based Borneo’s Plight in Malaysia Foundation (Bopim), Pairin was Deputy Chief Minister in the Barisan Nasional (BN) Sabah Government. “It was the corruption case that led to the overthrow of the PBS Government shortly after the state election in 1994.”

“The party was not really prepared for the state election because it was so pre-occupied with the corruption case.”

Jambun pointed out that the corruption case against Guan Eng was about the BN as well, about the “karmic forces” gathering around the ruling coalition. “The RM55 billion 1MDB scandal and the RM4.2 billion political ‘donation’ controversy are both cases of crimes being committed but there are no criminals.”

“Who committed the crimes then, if not the criminals? No one must be allowed to act with impunity.”

Resuming his take on Guan Eng quitting all posts, including taking leave as DAP Secretary-General, the human rights advocate said the Penang Chief Minister can prevent a trial by media conducted by the BN-controlled media including those owned by the government. “Only Guan Eng can help end the controversy. In fact, he should forget about ever returning to Penang. He should put it down to experience and move on. If there’s a beginning, there must be an end.”

His departure, argued Jambun, will help the Opposition stay united and focus on the global financial scandals bogging down the Najib Government. “If Guan Eng takes the position that ‘a man is innocent until proven guilty’, as Pairin did, he will be leading a crippled Administration, having to turn up in Court all the time.”

“In the Court of Public Opinion, the thinking is that a man is guilty unless he can prove his innocence, and similarly in the media.”

The Guan Eng corruption case, he summed up, must not be allowed to be used by the BN as a tool in its politics of distraction and disruption. “The Opposition must focus on thel financial scandals and not the Guan Eng corruption case.”

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