GEORGE TOWN: Former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng has tasked Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki to prove his claim that developmentally robust states, including Penang, are also most plagued by corruption.
Lim, who was state chief minister for 10 years from 2008, said he found Azam's statement to be very strange.
He said because of the CAT administration (the principles of good governance, competency, accountability and transparency, practised since 2008) during his time, the number of corruption cases was very low.
"Basically, there was no avenue for corruption when we practised open tenders. Don't forget, every year we were praised in the Auditor General's Report.
"And Penang still remains the only state government in Malaysia to be praised by Transparency International (TI). Tell me any other state government that has been praised by TI? No. Only Penang. Don't even talk about the federal government,"
"So now you say, in the last two years, that civil servants are more corrupt? Show proof, just like what Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said.
"Don't make political statements. He (Azam) is acting like a politician," he told newsmen here today.
During an interview with Mutiara FM yesterday, Azam had said that states most robust in development were also the ones most beset with corruption.
He had named Penang, Johor and Selangor as having the highest number of corruption cases in the country. Kuala Lumpur was also on the list.
He also said that the anti-graft body had received 312 complaints on bribery and 147 on abuse of power in Penang.
Responding to Azam's statement, Chow wanted MACC to be transparent in revealing the number of cases brought to the courts and the number of civil servants found guilty.
He said his administration welcomed MACC's probe into corruption, involving civil servants in the state.
Lim said Azam was turning MACC into a political weapon.
"Why suddenly talk about Penang? What about Sabah? Other states?"