Lim Guan Eng Should Apologise

A free man, but a shadow looms from the court outcome.

How can he not?

The Penang High Court acquitted the freshman Finance Minister, Lim Guan Eng, of corruption involving the purchase of a home at below market price from an interested party, Phang Li Koon, because Guan Eng had approved her land conversion application.

The issues boiled over in 2016, in the island-state where Guan Eng was chief minister for ten years till last May.

If Pakatan lost on May 9, there would be no betting man on the island or on its mainland settlement, Seberang Perai, wagering Guan Eng would have escaped jail.

The case was straight forward, in terms of proving guilt.

Guan Eng claims it was selective prosecution, which most Malaysians agree. It was a case pursued because he was the DAP leader by his political opponents

But the same can be said about his acquittal, a result of the shift in political circumstances thanks to the last general election.

Prosecuted for his politics, acquitted thanks to his politics.

Should that be the end of it?

No, he should apologise.

The house in Penang that almost dragged Guan Eng down.

He had poor judgement in the matter, and while the courts have let him of the hook, and this administration is unlikely to insist on further action, he has given the impression of impropriety.

Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion, as they say in politics, and therefore Guan Eng must make amends over this issue.

He should admit to acting poorly in the matter, despite the intentions of the initial persecutors, and agree that he has learnt from the experience, and therefore will be in better form henceforth. After all, it won’t be long before Guan Eng goes after another corruption accusation involving the previous administration, and in order to appear a servant of justice he would need to admit to his own misgivings however minor they may be in hindsight.

This is where he can assist in raising the bar on humility, honesty and acceptance of human frailties in the work to bring good to the people.

That would be better new politics.

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