Shabudin challenged again to say it outside Parliament so Lim can sue for defamation.

PETALING JAYA: Lim Guan Eng, MP for Bagan, will be in Parliament tomorrow to face accusations about the purchase of his bungalow in Penang last year.

The DAP secretary-general and Penang chief minister said today he was prepared to answer about the deal, questions about which were raised in the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday by Tasek Gelugor MP Shabudin Yahaya.

Shabudin had said the RM2.8 million purchase price was below market value. The double-storey bungalow sits on 10,000 sq ft of land in Jalan Pinhorn, off Green Lane. Shabudin said the market value would be about RM6-RM6.5 million.

Lim was not in Parliament on Thursday and a shouting match erupted as MPs of the DAP tried to drown out Shabudin. He asked if the deal was linked to the state government’s sale of land meant for low cost housing to a Kuala Lumpur-based company which intends to build a hospital and hotel.

Lim had responded by denying any link and said the bungalow purchase was a private transaction made on a “willing buyer-willing seller” basis.

Speaking at a press conference at the chief minister’s office today, Lim reiterated his challenge to Shabudin to repeat his allegations outside Parliament, without parliamentary immunity, “so that I can exercise my right to take legal action against him”.

Lim has made the challenge several times since Thursday.

He accused Shabudin of chickening out of a face-to-face meeting, in front of the media, at his office today. Shabudin, however, had said last night he would not attend, saying the meeting was a diversionary tactic by Lim.

Lim said Shabudin’s allegation of corrupt practices in the bungalow deal was “an old lie” and “a slanderous and unsubstantiated claim”.

Shabudin had said the house had been bought for RM2.5 million and renovated before it was rented to Lim at RM5,000 a month in 2009. He questioned the low sale price of RM2.8 million. Lim has said he had paid RM700,000 as a down payment with the balance paid off on a bank loan of RM2.1 million.

The house-owner has been reported to be a business associate of a director of the company that bought the Taman Manggis state land. Lim, however, denied that the previous owner was a developer, a shareholder or a director in Kuala Lumpur International Dental Centre Sdn Bhd, which bought the 1.1 acre plot at Taman Manggis.

Lim also recounted that he had sued another Umno politician, Shaik Hussein Mydin, for defamation regarding the deal and that Shaik Hussein had apologised in chambers to settle the suit. Media reports, however, said that Shaik Hussein had withdrawn a remark that Lim had corruptly accepted money for the Taman Manggis sale.


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