KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 — Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng questioned if postponing the demolition of illegal buildings pending an amicable solution was considered graft, after a state executive councillor was remanded over an illegal factory.
News reports quoted him as saying last night that it was the state government’s policy, after Pakatan Rakyat assumed power in 2008, not to take action against illegal buildings, including places of worship and eateries, constructed before that year until an amicable solution could be found, with no timeframe set.
“If I say you shouldn’t tear down this temple first, while we discuss this, is that corruption? That is what we want to know. If that is the case, then it is not only in Penang. It is everywhere.
“And you go after a state executive council member who is trying to implement the state government’s policy, where we try to find a win-win situation,” NST Online quoted Lim as saying.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) arrested Penang state environment committee chairman Phee Boon Poh Friday, who will be detained for questioning for five days after the Penang Magistrate granted MACC the remand order.
The anti-graft body is reportedly investigating Phee for allegedly issuing two letters to the Seberang Prai Municipal Council ordering it to delay enforcement action against a 15-year-old illegal carbon filter factory in Sungai Lembu.
NST Online reported Lim as saying that his administration did not believe that Phee had any personal interest in the factory.
“Everyone knows that Phee is a rich man even before he joins the state administration. It was inherited from his family business.
“He is just carrying out his duties as the state executive council member. We believe and trust in him,” he said.