Media Release: Guan Eng needs a clean bill before appointment as minister

GUAN ENG NEEDS A CLEAN BILL BEFORE APPOINTMENT AS MINISTER

Press Statement, 22 May 2018

C4 Center is troubled that Lim Guan Eng has been appointed as Finance Minister despite earlier statements by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir (refer to article and date) that he can only be appointed if he has been cleared of his corruption charge. While there is no question about Lim Guan Eng’s suitability for the candidacy, it raises questions about how the Pakatan Harapan is pushing his appointment through.

We acknowledge that there is no legal compulsion that prevents Lim’s appointment as minister while still answering for a corruption charge. However, there are good governance principles that underlie the importance of Tun Dr Mahathir’s earlier statement. Public officials must uphold full accountability for their actions, and corruption must be completely absent— how can this be neglected with the newly minted cabinet and especially the leadership of the finance ministry at stake?

Swiftness is required to implement the PH government’s promises to the people and its 100-day policy goals. However, we also believe that the PH government needs to walk their talk of systemic reform, and that Malaysia needs clean and honest leaders, not tomorrow, but today. Therefore, the rule of law and due process in clearing Lim Guan Eng must uncompromisingly be followed, before any federal appointments.

This means two things: First, we urge similar swiftness in the Attorney General’s office to treat Lim’s case with the greatest urgency and the highest priority, given the unprecedented situation we are in; Second, we urge greater transparency about the process between the prime minister and the attorney general’s office to instill confidence in the public sphere that no strings were pulled, demonstrating that due process was adhered to, despite the urgency.

We trust that the PH government is vigilant and must not falter at this pivotal moment in Malaysian history.

Precedent must be set for future generations, such that reform truly takes root in Malaysia.