Malaysia detains leading opposition figure Lim Guan on corruption charges

The court grants Lim bail on 1 million ringgit but he has to notify it if he plans overseas travel

Leading Malaysian opposition figure and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan, a vocal critic of Prime Minister Najib Razak, has been charged for corruption.

Lim, who is also the Democratic Action Party (DAP) secretary-general, was charged with two counts of abusing his position in approving a land deal and for the purchase of a bunglow at below market price in July last year.

However, the senior federal opposition leader said he was not guilty on both the counts. The court granted him a 1 million ringgit ($248,570) bail and if he needs to travel overseas, he has to notify the high court before two days.

The leaders from the Pakatan Harapan opposition pact criticized the legal action against Lim.

Senior DAP leader Lim Kit Siang said in a statement this was part of the efforts "to destroy the opposition and defend Najib's political position".

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) said in March it started investigating Lim on the two charges.

Meanwhile, Najib, who chaired 1MDB's advisory board until it was dissolved in May, is facing several calls to resign from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), which is undergoing money-laundering probes in at least six countries including the United States, Switzerland and Singapore.

He is also accused of depositing over $681 million into his personal account ahead of the 2013 general election, although he denied all these charges.

In January, Attorney-General Apandi said 681 million was a gift from a member of Saudi Arabia's royal family and hence Najib was cleared of the corruption charges.