Former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng has claimed that the criminal charge against him was politically motivated to tarnish his reputation.
"Let me state that this is a baseless allegation and politically motivated to tarnish my reputation as an opposition MP.
"I want to stress that we don't practice corruption. We fight corruption," he told the media at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex today.
Earlier, Lim, who was the finance minister in the former Pakatan Harapan government, claimed trial to a charge of soliciting a bribe in connection with the RM6.3 billion Penang undersea tunnel project.
He is accused of soliciting the bribe to facilitate the awarding of a contract with regard to the tunnel.
MACC did not ask for proof on the allegations
Lim reiterated there was no such gratification and MACC, throughout its investigation, never asked him to furnish proof of money in his possession.
"I also want to stress that I have never received any gratification and I told this to MACC.
"MACC never asked me where I kept the (alleged) kickback, either in cash possession or my bank account. There were no millions, where is the corruption?
"So, I stressed that there is no such gratification," he added.
The Bagan MP said the undersea tunnel project was not based on a direct award but went through an open tender.
"Not a single sen had been paid for the tunnel project," he added.
Lim maintained his innocence and vowed to fight his case in court.
"I believe the truth will show that I have not received any gratification. There is no corruption," he said.
Other than today's charge, Lim is expected to face another charge in relation to the tunnel case on Aug 10, and another case, about which the MACC did not clarify, on Aug 11.
Both charges would take place at the Sessions Court in Penang.
Meanwhile, Lim's lawyer Gobind Singh explained that there is no basis to the charge.
"If you look at the charge against my client, there is no actual figure stated in the charge.
"What is stated is that there was a request for a particular percentage to be given through the complainant from a particular project.
"As far we are concerned, there is no basis to the charge.
"We will use the court process to prove my client is innocent. We will fightto the very end," he added.
'We'll continue to fight corruption'
Despite being charged, Lim said the opposition would continue to pursue corruption scandals like 1MDB.
"This charge won't stop us from pursuing corruption scandals like 1MDB.
"As you know, there was a certain development in Parliament yesterday. We will continue to press on this issue.
"Tomorrow, I will issue a statement on 1MDB, where the Goldman Sachs settlement was done without cabinet approval," he added.
Putrajaya came into a settlement with Goldman Sachs, which would see the bank forking out US$2.5 billion in cash and another US$1.4 billion guarantee for the recovery of assets allegedly acquired using stolen 1MDB funds.
The amount is less than the US$7.5 billion which was demanded by the previous Harapan government.
Two days ago, Lim said the Perikatan Nasional government could have extracted more compensation from Goldman Sachs for its role in the alleged theft of 1MDB funds, had it not been so hasty.