Malaysian government with yet another attempt to crack down on the democratic opposition


Lim Guan Eng

Malaysia's former finance minister Lim Guan Eng (C) leaves the Duta Court complex after posting bail in Kuala Lumpur on August 7, 2020. Malaysia's ex-finance minister, now a key opposition leader, was charged with alleged corruption. He is the latest government critic to be targeted since the return of a scandal-plagued party to power. Photo: RASFAN / AFP

The PES condemns the latest move by the Malaysian government to arrest and charge Lim Guan Eng, a prominent opposition politician and leader of the Democratic Action Party (DAP).

Mr Lim Guan Eng, a former finance minister in the previous democratically elected government, was released on bail this morning after spending several days in custody. He is facing charges similar to the ones already dismissed by the Malaysian court. The wife and the sister of Lim Guan Eng were also detained briefly for questioning.

The move of the ruling coalition looks like yet another attempt to crack down on the democratic opposition in Malaysia.

The interrogations, the arrest and release, the utilisation of previously dismissed charges are part of the ongoing efforts to discredit the Pakatan Harapan (PH), the broad alliance of democratic parties in Malaysia ahead of the upcoming general election in the country. Lim Gian Eng’s Democratic Action Party is a member of the PH.

The PES urges all democratic forces, the progressive opposition in Malaysia, to remain vigilant against any attacks on civil liberties. European socialists and democrats are deeply worried by the possibility that other opposition leaders will be subjected to the same political harassment and intimidation ahead of the election.