Lim went overboard with remarks, says Najib

KUALA LUMPUR - Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng apologised over his remarks about Johor because he could no longer deny not making the disparaging statement, said the Prime Minister.

Lim would not have apologised if there were grounds to deny making the statement, added Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

"This (apology) is an admission that he had gone overboard with his words.

"He has accepted (the fact) that he has erred," he said after chairing the Umno supreme council meeting yesterday.

MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said the incident showed that DAP leaders were not perfect, adding that he accepted Lim's apology.

"He apologised because of the Sultan of Johor. If it were for Chua Soi Lek, he might wriggle out of it," Dr Chua said.

Dr Chua said there was no need for Lim to "run down" other states and boast of the administration in Penang because the role of states in foreign investment was considered small, compared to that of the Federal Government's.

MCA vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said the incident should serve as a lesson to Lim who must stop treating investment trips as a chance to give "Opposition ceramah".

"He got into a spot because he spoke like an Opposition politician instead of promoting the state like what a CM should do," she said.

She criticised Lim for attempting to evade the issue by claiming it was a private conversation.

"He tried to blame the media instead of himself. The crux of the matter is whether he uttered those words or not."

MCA Youth chief Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong accused Lim of trying to confuse the public in explaining the situation.

He cited how Lim had explained that he had a speech text but at the same time, the Chief Minister said it was a private discussion.

Dr Wee said the Johor-born Lim had insulted his own birthplace and tarnished the state.