A Malaysian opposition politician, who has strongly criticized financial scandals involving Prime Minister Najib Razak, has been charged with corruption.

The prosecution of Lim Guan Eng, chief minister of northern Penang state, has sparked accusations of a witch hunt by the government, which itself faces allegations of massive corruption in a multibillion-dollar scandal involving a state investment fund.

His father, Lim Kit Siang, said Lim was charged Thursday with abusing his power by purchasing a house in Penang at below market value after approving the conversion of a piece of agricultural land for commercial purposes to a company owned by the house seller.

Lim has led Penang, one of three states run by the opposition, since 2008 and his possible jailing is a blow to an already weakened opposition.