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Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng pushing his way out of the Parliament building. Pix by Sairien Nafis

KUALA LUMPUR: Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng today beat a hasty retreat from Parliament after he was mobbed by reporters who fielded questions over his purchase of a bungalow at below market price.

Flanked by DAP leaders Gobind Singh Deo and Stephan Wong, the Bagan member of parliament ignored questions from the media as he pushed his way out of Parliament building.

Wearing a meek smile, Lim merely shook his head as reporters prodded him for a response over calls for him to go on leave pending a corruption investigation into the purchase of his bungalow for RM2.8 million.

The DAP secretary-general had earlier arrived in Parliament at 3.30pm for today’s sitting before leaving an hour later.

This comes a few hours after Lim issued a lengthy statement, in which he announced his refusal to take a leave of absence as Penang CM.

He had also described the allegations levelled against him as “blatantly false”.

Lim, in the statement, also launched a scathing attack against his critics in Umno and Pas, saying both parties did not pressure their leaders to take a leave of absence after being accused of corruption.

“Both BN and Pas did not make the same demands to the prime minister to go on leave, when the prime minister was discovered with RM2.6 billion in donation in his personal bank account,” he added.

Lim also noted how the late Kelantan menteri besar Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat did not go on leave despite being investigated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission on false charges of corruption in 2009.

However, the Malaysian Bar recently said Lim should take leave of absence, saying the move would be seen as a “prudent” step to preserve the integrity of investigations, depending on the severity of the allegations.

Malaysian Human Rights Society (Hakam) president Datuk S Ambiga, on Tuesday, said Lim should consider taking leave from his post pending MACC’s investigation.

She had said every public official must be held accountable, although it is not a law for an official to take a break pending the investigation.

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