Lim Guan Eng determined to champion reform in Malaysia

     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
     since 1986.

     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
     schoolgirl.

     "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."