Lim Guan Eng Biography
Lim Guan Eng is a Malaysian politician born on 8th December 1960 in Malaysia. He is the the finance minister of Malaysia and the Secretary-General of DAP and the former Chief Minister (CM) of Penang. He is the son of Lim Kit Siang, Leader of the Opposition in the Dewan Rakyat from 1973 to 1999 and 2004 to 2008.
He attended La Salle Primary English School in Petaling Jaya, and later the Batu Pahat Montfort Primary English School. He attended Batu Pahat High School and Malacca High for his secondary education. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Monash University.
Lim Guan Eng Career
In 1983 Lim Guan Eng qualified as a professional accountant. He served as a senior executive at a bank before he joined politics.
Lim Guan Eng Political Career
Lim Guan Eng began his political career at Monach University where he served as the president of MUISS (Monash University International Student Society) during his university years.
In 1986 he was elected as the member of parliament for Kota Melaka. He was re elected in the subsequent 1990 and 1995 general elections. He became the first person to be elected for three consecutive terms in Kota Melaka.
In 1989 Lim Guan Eng was appointed as the DAP Socialist Youth chairman and in 1992 he was formally elected to the post. In 1995 he was was elected as the DAP Deputy Secretary-General. In 2004 he was elected as the party secretary – General.
Lim Guan Eng Imprisonment
In October 1987 Lim Guan Eng along with 106 other politician and activists were detained under the Internal Security Act in Operation Lalang. He was the first to be datained and last to be released on April 1989.
In 1994 Lim Guan Eng was arrested after criticizing the governmen’s failure to bring then-Chief Minister of Melaka, Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Thamby Chik’s statutory rape case to trial when the Attorney General had decided not to press charges.
Lim was charged under Section 4(1) (b) of the Sedition Act 1948 for causing ‘disaffection with the administration of justice in Malaysia’. He was also charged under Section 8A (1) of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 for ‘maliciously printing’ a pamphlet containing allegedly ‘false information’ which supposedly described the alleged rape victim as an ‘imprisoned victim’ because she was initially
detained by Malaysian police without parental consent for 10 days.
He was sentensed to 18 months imprisonment after a series of appeals and was released on 25th August 1999 after 12 months. He was barred from holding a public office for a period of 5 years.
Lim Guan Eng Political Comeback
In 2005 he suffered defeat in his bid for re election to the Melaka DAP committee when he and his wife came in last and second-last (respectively).
Lim Guan Eng remained Secretary-General of DAP and was automatically included among the committee under the party constitution. On 23rd August 2008 he garned he second highest number of votes (620) at the party’s 15th National Congress.
During the 2008 general election, the coalition of DAP-PKR-PAS later known as the Pakatan Rakyat won 29 out of 40 state seats contested in Penang, in which DAP was the largest winning component party with 19 seats, PKR 9 seats, and PAS 1. They defeated Barisan Nasional, former ruling coalition for the authority to rule Penang for the next five years. Liam was nominated to be the next Chief Minister (CM) of Penang.
In the 2013 general elections, Pakatan Rakyat garnered a larger majority of 30 out of 40 state seats in Penang.
On 19 March 2008, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng announced that the state exco had approved an open tender system for projects exceeding RM 50,000. For projects between RM20,000 and RM50,000, a balloting system will be introduced and a two-week objection period would be given for both the open tender and balloting systems.
During his tenure as the Chief Minister, Penang maintained its rank of being top among the list of investments in Malaysia, attracting RM12.2 billion worth of total capital investments as of 2010, which accounts for 25% of total investments in Malaysia. This is also a 465% increase compared to the total investment of RM2.17 billion as of 2009. Consequently, in 2011, Penang was the top in manufacturing investments in Malaysia for the second consecutive year, with RM9.1 billion in total.
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In 2011, Penang was the top in manufacturing investments in Malaysia for the second consecutive year, with RM9.1 billion in total. In a new indicator of total investment however, which comprises manufacturing, services and private sectors, Penang ranked second in Malaysia after Sarawak in total investments, with the total amount of RM14.038 billion. This was due to not having much primary sector investments.
In 2015 Penang’s economic growth was 5.5% which was higher than Malaysia’s growth rate of 5%. Penang also has the lowest unemployment rate of 1.5% as compared to the national unemployment rate of 3.1%.
On 28 April 2011, Lim Guan Eng signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with China, witnessed by the Chinese premier Wen Jiabao and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak on the proposal of the construction of three road and tunnel projects in Penang island, including a 6.5 km undersea tunnel, a third link between the island and Butterworth on the mainland. According to Lim, this would ease traffic congestion in the area and to improve the links between the island and the mainland.
On 25th July 2014, the Penang state government under Lim Guan Eng unveiled the RM27 billion Penang Transport Master Plan which comprises an integrated transportation network connecting both Penang Island and Seberang Perai. The master plan aims to achieve a well-defined and fully connected road network and dispersal system as well as a well- integrated and sustainable public transport system, which combines buses, trams, MRT and water taxis. The entire project is expected to start in 2015 and complete in 2030.
On 1st April 2014 Penang state government under Lim launched the ‘Penang Future Foundation (PFF)’ scholarship programme which will be awarded to outstanding young Malaysian students who wish to pursue their undergraduate studies at local private higher educational institutions. Scholarship recipients will be offered a total of RM20 million to sponsor their studies and they are required to work in Penang after they graduate. The scholarship programme is administered by the Penang state government but is fully funded by the private sector to ensure the programme’s sustainability in the long run. This programme is launched to attract young talented people to work in the state.
During the 2018 Malaysian general election Pakatan Harapan (of which the DAP is part of) emerged victorious and formed the federal government. He was appointed as the Minister of Finance by the Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad.
Lim Guan Eng Controversies
On January 30, 2015, Lim Guan Eng, with two news portal, Malaysiakini and The Malaysian Insider were sued by Penang UMNO secretary, Datuk Musa Sheikh Fadzir, Maison Height Sdn Bhd and Penang Barisan Nasional secretary Datuk Omar Faudzar for making defamatory article on the alleged sale of Malay lands for profit.In the statement of claim, the plaintiffs referred to an article written by Lim titled “Pembohongan Umno” (Umno’s lies), which was published in The Malaysian Insider on Nov 27, 2014, and another article titled “Stop spreading lies about Penang government, Guan Eng tells Umno” which was also published in the same news portal on Nov 27.The plaintiffs stated that Lim, Mkini and Gan had
caused the publication of another article “Umno made profits by selling Malay Kampungs”, containing defamatory words in Malaysiakini. The plaintiffs filed a notice of discontinuance on April 1, 2016.
On 3 July 2015, Lim Guan Eng lost a lawsuit for calling state’s opposition leader, Datuk Jahara Hamid as a “racist grandmother” in December 2013. and were ordered to pay RM500,000 in damages with 5% interest per annum and RM40,000 in legal cost. He also got an injunction from making a similar statement against Jahara and ordered to retract the statement. The judicial commissioner said that he was unprofessional (as a chief minister) to resort to name calling on an opposition leader,slanderous and brought disrepute to both to the assembly and the chair of chief minister. His sexist comment was condemned by the chairperson of the women’s wing of Democratic Action Party (DAP), Chong Eng, Zuraida Kamaruddin, chairperson of women’s wing of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and several female Senators.
Lim Guan Eng Religion
Lim Guan Eng broadcast a Christmas message urging the Federal government to permit Malay-Language Bibles to publish the word ‘Allah’.
Lim Guan Eng Wife
Lim Guan Eng is married to Betty Chew Gek Cheng, a Malaysian Chinese politician and the State Assemblywoman for Kota Laksamana in Melaka. She is the first serving assemblywoman to be married to a Chief Minister.
They have four children; Marcus Lim Whay Khai, Clint Lim Whay Chau, Rachel Lim Shay Wan and Ethan Lim Whay Zen.
Lim Guan Eng NEWS
1MDB scandal may be just tip of the iceberg, Lim Guan Eng hints
THE multi-billion ringgit losses of 1Malaysia Development Bhd may be just the tip of the iceberg, new Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has hinted, following the discovery of certain “red files” which could
open the floodgates on financial scandals involving the ministry under the previous administration.
“If you talk about scandals running into billions, the nasty ones, I think that is it,” said Lim.
“But the probe is ongoing. Documents are still being dissected. It is a painful process but a necessary one.
“You got to wait and clean it up,” he told Bernama in an exclusive interview one month after the 14th general election, which saw Pakatan Harapan pull off a shock victory to take over Putrajaya.
On the possibility that files could have been destroyed before the changing of guards, he said, “You can destroy documents but we can re- construct them. These days you have got money trails. So it is very
hard to hide.”
Lim Guan Eng said what awaited him at the ministry when he reported for duty on May 22 was worse than he had expected.
“I was shocked. I have been swimming in a sea of red ink (ever since),” he said.
It was revealed that the government had paid RM6.9 billion to service 1MDB’s debts since April last year.2017.
That was followed by the revelation that the previous Barisan Nasional government had also used money raised from a deal with sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd as well as proceeds from a land sale to Bank Negara Malaysia to meet 1MDB’s debt obligations.
And while Malaysians were digesting these bits of information, they were hit with another whammy – a potentially scandalous gas pipeline project involving RM9.41 billion, also linked to 1MDB.
“They were lying through the teeth,” said Lim, of the national debt figures provided by former government officials .
“So they said they were following IMF (International Monetary Fund) standards. So, it is RM686.8 billion (debt). But what about the government guaranteed debts (amounting to RM199.1 billion) and public- private partnership projects worth RM201.4 billion, which all totals up to RM1 trillion debt.
“In economic terms, a doubtful debt is recognised as a bad debt and it should be written off.
“What we have here is bad debt that we are paying off on behalf of companies like 1MDB,” he explained.
Fortunately, the country was now in safe hands, Lim assured Malaysians.
“We can now really address our debt issue,” he said, adding that the new government did not believe in sugar-coating the truth.
He said the people deserved to know the truth and it was important to establish a true baseline on the country’s state of finances before they could be rebuilt.
Meanwhile, he said, the goods and services tax (GST) has been abolished, fuel prices had stabilised and the “Bantuan Sara Hidup Rakyat” programme introduced.
Grade 41 and below civil servants will each receive a special Raya payment of RM400, while pensioners will receive RM200.
“That is RM22 billion given back to the people. We can do this without the GST,” he said.
Moving forward, he said more needed to be done to cut spending. “As Tun Mahathir said, we cannot be expecting free handouts anymore.
“We have to take the (bitter) medicine. After all, our prime minister is a doctor. I think it (country’s debt problem) can be cured.” – Bernama, June 9, 2018.
Source: The Malaysian Insight (9th June 2018)
RM9.4 billion scandal involving two gas pipeline projects uncovered: Lim Guan Eng
Malaysia’s finance ministry, Lim Guan Eng, said on Tuesday (Jun 5) that it has uncovered a RM9.4 billion-dollar (S$3.2 billion) scandal involving two gas pipeline projects.
Suria Strategic Energy Resources Sdn Bhd (SSER), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the finance ministry, was paid 88 per cent of the total value for the two projects although only about 13 per cent of the work had been completed, Malaysian finance minister Lim Guan Eng said in a statement.
He said that the ministry was “shocked” to learn that RM8.25 billion had already been drawn out.
The details were found in restricted files dubbed “red files” and the scandal is suspected to be linked to state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
Lim Guan Eng said he was informed by Treasury officials that SSER, the company undertaking both projects, is an offshoot by the same people behind SRC International, a former subsidiary of the scandal-plagued 1MDB.
The company was set to undertake both the Multi-Product Pipeline and the Trans-Sabah Gas Pipeline projects. Both projects were approved by the Malaysian Cabinet on Jul 27, 2016.
The Multi-Product Pipeline aimed to build a 600km multi-product petroleum pipeline connecting Melaka and Port Dickson to Jitra, Kedah costing about RM5.35 billion.
The Trans-Sabah Gas Pipeline aimed to build a 662km gas pipeline from Kimanis Gas Terminal to Sandakan and Tawau, costing RM4.06 billion.
The agreements for both contracts were signed by the then Treasury Secretary-General Irwan Serigar Abdullah, who was also the chairman of SSER. Irwan recently resigned on May 23.
Both projects were awarded to China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau on Nov 1, 2016, and they secured 85 per cent of their funding from China EXIM Bank on Mar 22 last year. The remaining amount was meant to be raised via sukuk issuance.
Both the China EXIM Bank borrowings and the sukuk are secured with federal government guarantees, Lim said.
Although SSER said that the three-year projects started in April last year, only 14.5 per cent of the Multi-Product Pipeline was completed as of March 2018. The Trans-Sabah Gas Pipeline achieved only 11.4 per cent completion during the same period.
“We have discovered that the payment schedule for the above contracts are based almost entirely on timeline milestones, and not on progressive work completion milestones,” said Lim.
ADDITIONAL AGREEMENTS TOTALLING RM1 BILLION
Lim Guan Eng said there were also two consultancy agreements signed for the two projects worth approximately RM312 million and RM213 million, and a maintenance agreement worth RM476 million, awarded to companies from China, totalling an additional RM1 billion.
Both agreements, according to the press release, were negotiated by the Prime Minister’s Department, without involving Treasury officials. The contracts were also signed despite “numerous unanswered questions” and “red flags”, confirmed the Attorney General’s Chambers.
“The Board of Directors, and Tan Sri Irwan Serigar in particular, must answer as to why SSER signed such a lopsided contract that clearly jeopardises the interest of the Malaysian people and government,” he said.
He added that the president of SSER Mohammed Azhar bin Osman Khairuddin is also linked to Low Taek Jho, who is embroiled in the 1MDB scandal.
“I have instructed my officers to file a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission last week. The Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has been briefed on the scandal,” said Mr Lim.
Lim Guan Eng also said that former prime minister Najib Razak and the Chinese government could be asked to help with the investigations.
“We would welcome the former finance and prime minister, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak, who has been active on Facebook recently, to explain how he could possibly approve the above transactions.
“If necessary, we would seek the assistance of the China government to help trace the flow of funds in China, in order to investigate the possibility of money laundering,” said Mr Lim.
In addition, the ministry will take steps to take control of the company pending investigation, said Lim.
Source: Channel News Asia (5th June 2018)