(Petaling Jaya, Friday): The DAP Central Executive Committee will hold an emergency meeting on Sunday on the case DAP Deputy Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Guan Eng following the Court of Appeal decision enhancing his sentences to three years’ jail from the Malacca High Court decision in April last year imposing a fine of RM15,000 for the offences under the Sedition Act and the Printing Presses and Publications Act.
More and more Malaysians have expressed their concern about the implications of the three-year jail sentence imposed on Guan Eng, which would disqualify him as an elected Member of Parliament and deprive him of the civic right to stand for any elective office and the right to vote for five years.
The important public interest issues raised by Guan Eng’s three-year jail sentence concern all Malaysians as they go to the very basis of the nature of a civil society the country is trying to build in the new millennium.
Guan Eng had never tried to bring the judiciary into public disrepute as what he did was to come to the defence of a helpless Malay grandmother and her family who had nobody else to turn to in seeking justice for an underaged girl when faced with the power, might and resources of the Malacca Chief Minister.
In speaking up for the rights of the weak and defenceless and championing the cause of the Malay grandmother, her family and the fourteen-year-old girl in 1994, Guan Eng is now paying the supreme price of disqualification as MP for Kota Melaka which he had held for 12 years and a three-year jail term. This is in dire contrast to the position of the former Malacca Chief Minister, Tan Sri Rahim Tamby Cik, who is not only free of worries about criminal charges and jail sentences, but could recently make a bid for a political comeback in UMNO, though it was not successful.
Other public interest issues raised by Guan Eng’s case include: