KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 24 (AFP) - Former opposition
lawmaker Lim Guan Eng, who is
expected to be released from prison Wednesday, said he would continue to champion for
reform in Malaysia.
Lim, who walks out of prison after serving
an 18-month sentence for sedition and publishing
false news, said in a statement he was convinced many Malaysians would join "the movement
for reform to save Malaysia" from injustice and corruption.
"I myself will not shirk from this responsibility,"
Lim said in a reply to an open letter from
Chandra Muzaffar, the vice-president of a new opposition party headed by jailed deputy
premier Anwar Ibrahim's wife.
"Rest assured that I will walk out of Kajang
Prison with my head unbowed, my spirit unbroken
and my faith unshaken," he said, adding that "I have never regretted what I have done."
Lim, deputy secretary-general of the opposition
Democratic Action Party (DAP), was convicted
in April last year and subsequently lost his seat as a member of parliament, which he had held
The 38-year-old son of DAP leader Lim Kit Siang
was found guilty of publishing false news
about an alleged sex scandal involving a 15-year-old girl and Rahim Thamby Chik, who was
then chief minister of the state of Malacca.
Lim was also ordered to serve a concurrent
18-month sentence for sedition after speaking out
about the government's handling of allegations that Rahim had raped a minor.
Rahim, a member of Prime Minister Mahathir
Mohamad's ruling United Malay's National
Organisation (UMNO), was later acquitted of the charges.
Lim said he entered Kajang Prison because an
injustice was committed against an underage
"By sacrificing woman rights for political
expediency, the National Front government has lost any
moral legitimacy amongst women," he said.
Chandra had said August 25 "will go down in
Malaysian history as one of the important
milestones in our struggle for justice and freedom."
"In a real sense you are coming back to a different
Malaysia," he wrote in a letter published in
the Islamic opposition newspaper Harakah earlier this month to Lim.
"The last 10 months have witnessed an unprecedented
political awakening within a significant
segment of society. People from all walks of life have become much more conscious of the
abuse of power on the part of the ruling elite."