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Malaysian ex-finance minister, his wife face graft charges

12 August, 2020 12:00 AM printer

KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian ex-finance minister and his wife were hit with corruption charges Tuesday, the latest episode in a crackdown against dissent since a scandal-plagued party returned to power, reports AFP.

Lim Guan Eng was a minister for nearly two years until the reformist government he was in collapsed in February, as a new pact led by former allies and political rivals took over.

A former chief minister of the northern state of Penang from 2008 to 2018, Lim was charged with abusing his position to get 372,009 ringgit ($88,573) in gratification for his wife Betty Chew over a workers’ dormitory project.

Pleading not guilty at a court in the city of Butterworth on Tuesday, he said the accusations against him and Chew were “baseless and politically motivated”.

“...dragging my wife, I think this is an act of political vengeance against me,” he said in a press conference broadcast live on social media.

“I’m very upset. You want to go, go for me. Why do you want to go for my wife?”

Chew, a lawyer, was hit with three money-laundering charges, while a businesswoman was also charged with abetting Lim.