Corruption, Former Malaysian Minister of Finance Era Mahathir Arrested

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KUALA LUMPUR – Former Minister of Finance Malaysia, Lim Guan Eng, was arrested on Thursday (6/8/2020) in connection with allegations of corruption over a $ 1.5 billion underwater tunnel project, state news agency Bernama reported.

In a statement, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission said that Lim would face one charge in court today, Friday (7/8/2020). The senior leader of the opposition group faces two other charges next week. However, the anti-rasuah commission did not comment on the arrests, as quoted from Reuters.

Lim was arrested following a months-long investigation into allegations of corruption over an underwater tunnel project in the state of Penang, which he led as chief minister from 2008 until his appointment as Minister of Finance in 2018.

Critics of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s government say Lim’s investigation into a politically motivated submarine tunnel project.

Muhyiddin came to power five months ago, after the collapse of a coalition led by Mahathir Mohamad |, by forming alliances with parties that were elected out of power in the 2018 elections. The opposition has accused him of stealing power by removing coalitions instead of getting them from the ballot box.(Read: Mahathir: United Indigenous Party Leaders Turn From Their Promises)

The prime minister has a two-seat majority in parliament and there is speculation he may call for snap elections due to the uncertainty created by a thin majority.(Read: Mahathir Supports New Candidate for Prime Minister of Malaysia)

Lim was part of Mahathir’s coalition that collapsed in February in part because of the displeasure of some coalition partners over the presence of Lim’s Democratic Action Party (DAP) amid public concern that the coalition is not doing enough to protect the interests of the Malay-majority nation.

DAP itself is dominated by the Malaysian Chinese population.

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