Guan Eng slams ‘denied entry to China’ claim

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on August 14, 2018.
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KUALA LUMPUR: Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has described as baseless the claim that he was not among those accompanying the prime minister on a visit to China next week because he was denied entry by Beijing.

Slamming Umno lawmaker Tan Sri Annuar Musa for making the allegation, Guan Eng said he cannot join the trip because he has to be in the Dewan Negara on Monday.

“I have to be in the Senate on Monday to ensure that the five draft bills presented by the new government, especially on the repeal of the goods and services tax, and reintroduction of the sales and service tax, are passed in the Dewan Negara,” he said during his winding-up speech on the Supply (Reallocation of Appropriated Expenditure) Bill 2018 at the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

“I am forced to stay in the Senate. If the opposition can give an assurance and respected the mandate given by the people to Pakatan Harapan and will not sabotage us [by voting against the bills], then I can go [to China],” he added.

Annuar (BN-Ketereh) had earlier claimed that Guan Eng was denied entry to China after he had allegedly ordered several raids by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on Chinese firms.

Denying this, Guan Eng said the MACC “under the new government is free to carry out investigations and take action on any case that it wants”.

“I have never issued any instructions to the MACC to carry out a raid on Chinese companies or contractors,” he added.  

On July 18, more than 50 officers from the anti-graft agency raided 13 locations in the Klang Valley. The raids were said to be in connection with investigations into three megaprojects — the Multi-Product Pipeline, Trans-Sabah Gas Pipeline and East Coast Rail Line.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is scheduled to visit China from Aug 17 to Aug 21.