Yesterday, Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng was charged in the High Court over the purchase of a bungalow at RM2.8 million.
Lim was freed on a RM1 million bail set by the court, which DAP managed to cough up through a 20-hour nationwide donation drive.
What if the amount involved in the corruption case is in the billion, say RM2.6 billion?
This familiar figure is linked to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. Last year, it was widely reported that some RM2.6 billion of money said to be linked to 1MDB had been transferred into Najib’s private bank accounts.
Former minister in charge of judiciary, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, said if Najib was charged, the bail money should be RM1 billion, going by the precedent set by the Penang High Court yesterday.
“Although unlikely to be charged, Najib will attract RM1 billion bail, going by the principles adopted by our courts.
“It’s real crazy, but that’s Malaysia for you. Bail amount should not depend on the amount of money taken by the accused,” he said on Twitter today.
Zaid said the RM1 million bail was excessive, adding that as the ruling chief minister, Lim would definitely not run away.
“It’s just to secure attendance in court. Lim as the incumbent chief minister will surely attend trial. He is not running anywhere,” he tweeted.
Zaid suggested that RM100,000 should be an adequate amount, but said:
“Unless we like drama, which is what this trial is about.”
Lim and businesswoman Phang Li Koon were arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on Wednesday, over the purchase of his Pinhorn Road bungalow from Phang.
He was charged for allegedly abusing his powers to approve a rezoning of land from agricultural to residential, to Magnificent Emblem. The offence carries a maximum jail term of 20 years and a fine of at least five times the total gratification.
He also pleaded not guilty to a charge of misusing his position as chief minister when he purchased his bungalow located at no. 25, Jalan Pinhorn for RM2.8mil from Phang, when the actual market value was RM4.27mil.