Guan Eng, wife and businesswoman request motion to squash corruption case involving RM11.6 mil workers’ dormitory project

FORMER Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng, his wife Betty Chew and businesswoman Phang Li Koon are attempting to have corruption charges dropped against them in connection with a RM11.6 mil foreign workers’ dormitory project.

“I will be filing an application for the case to be struck out. The prosecution was using evidence from a previous criminal case involving the purchase of Lim’s bungalow in Jalan Pinhorn despite his acquittal and discharge in 2018,” Free Malaysia Today reported Lawyer RSN Rayer as saying at the High Court today.

Lim, Chew and Phang were at the High Court here after they secured a transfer of the case from a sessions court in Butterworth, where they had claimed trial in 2020. They pled not guilty today after the charges were read out in front of judicial commissioner Coroner Rofiah Mohamad.

They were charged under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009.

Moreover, Rofiah has fixed Sept 11 for case management.

Previously, the trio were allowed to transfer an RM50,000 bond obtained in a lower court.

During Lim’s tenure as Penang’s chief minister, a dormitory project was given to a business connected to Phang.

The former finance minister is accused of paying Chew RM372,009 through Excel Property Management & Consultancy Sdn Bhd in order for Magnificent Emblem Sdn Bhd to be awarded the Juru and Batu Kawan projects.

The alleged offence was perpetrated between Aug 19, 2013 and March 3, 2016, while Lim was also Penang Development Corporation tender board chairman.

Furthermore, Phang was charged with abetting Lim under Section 28 (1)(c) of the MACC Act 2009.

Meanwhile, Chew was charged with three counts of laundering RM372,009 in three tranches from a Public Bank account registered at the Taman Melaka Raya branch between Oct 7, 2013 and March 3, 2016.

Lim claimed that the case was politically motivated and accused former premier Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin-led administration of going after him and the two innocent women.

Lim further noted that the case was trumped up to destroy him politically, claiming the evidence against him had been recycled from the prior case which had already been dropped.

“They are dragging two innocent women, my wife and Phang, just because they cannot find any money in my bank account. MACC cannot find (any) cash on me, (so) they use my wife to say she laundered RM300,000 over 13 months.

“Let me stress that these were RM15,000 consultancy fees she received as an accredited lawyer, where she has declared and paid taxes for. You don’t pay tax for corrupt money. And yet, they charged her and Phang.”

Lawyer S Meharaj also appeared for Lim and Chew, while V Sithambaram appeared for Phang. Deputy public prosecutors Syed Faisal Syed Amir and Shafiq Hasim prosecuted. — May 26, 2023


Main photo credit: FMT

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