Guan Eng claims trial to two charges of misappropriation of property

BUTTERWORTH (Sept 11): Former Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng (pictured) today claimed trial at the Sessions Court here towards two counts of dishonestly misappropriating of two properties namely in releasing two plots of land to Zenith Urban Development Sdn Bhd and Ewein Zenith Sdn Bhd, which are linked to the state’s underground tunnel project.

Lim, 59, who was formerly Penang Chief Minister (CM), was charged with causing the state land registrar to dispose of the first government-owned parcel — PT Lot 702 at Bandar Tanjong Pinang which is said to be worth RM135.086 million — to Ewein Zenith at the Land and Mines Department in Komtar on February 17, 2015.

He is also charged with causing the state land registrar to dispose of another plot of state land — PT Lot 10012, Bandar Tanjung Pinang that is worth RM73.668 million — to Zenith Urban at the Land at the Land and Mines Department in Komtar on March 22, 2017.

Both charges were made under Section 403 of the Penal Code.

If convicted, Lim — who is also DAP secretary-general — can face a minimum six months jail and a maximum five years jail, liable to whipping and fine for each of the charges.

He claimed trial before Sessions Court Judge Ahmad Azhari Abdul Hamid.

Lim was represented by Gobind Singh Deo, Ramkarpal Singh and RSN Rayer while deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Laden appeared for the prosecution.

The former CM had already claimed trial at the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur last month to one charge of soliciting a 10% cut in profits from the undersea tunnel project from Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd senior executive director Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli.

He allegedly asked for the bribe at The Gardens Hotel around Mid Valley City here in 2011.

The Bagan MP was also charged in the Sessions Court here with abusing his position as a public officer to assist Zarul's company to be appointed to undertake the construction of main roads and the undersea tunnel, reportedly worth RM6.341 billion, to obtain a RM3.3 million bribe.

Lim had allegedly committed the crime between January 2011 and August 2017 in Komtar, Penang.

He also faces a charge that is unrelated to the tunnel project, namely abuse of power in relation to a bribe purportedly received by his wife Betty Chew.

He is charged with abusing his post as a public officer during his tenure as the chief minister and chairman of Penang Development Corp's tender committee to ensure that Magnificent Emblem Sdn Bhd was given an invitation for the proposed workers' village project in Batu Kawan worth RM11.61 million, which Chew allegedly had interests in.

Chew allegedly received RM372,009 from Excel Property Management & Consultancy Sdn Bhd.

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