Penang Tunnel Scandal: Guan Eng Claims Trial Against 10% Bribe Charge

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KUALA LUMPUR: Lim Guan Eng claimed trial at the Special Corruption Court here today to a corruption charge of soliciting bribe from a company over multi-billion ringgit mega infrastructure projects in Penang.

DAP leader Guan Eng pleaded not guilty before presiding Sessions Court Judge Azura Alwi in Duta Court Complex after Deputy Public Prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin read out the charge.

The alleged crime took place when Guan Eng was the island-state chief minister between 2008 and 2018.

The alleged company, Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (Zenith), was awarded the contract to construct 3 highways and a RM6.3 billion undersea tunnel in Penang.

The former finance minister is being accused of using his position as chief minister to ask Zenith senior executive director Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli for 10% of the profits, which would be made from the infrastructure projects.

He was accused of committing the offence near the Gardens Hotel along Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City, Kuala Lumpur in March 2011.

He was charged under Section 16(a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission Act (MACC Act) 2009.

The charge carries a fine up to five times the value of the bribe or RM10,000, and imprisonment not exceeding 20 years upon conviction.

Guan Eng was arrested on Thursday night after a long investigation into the graft allegation over the scandalous undersea tunnel project.

The 7.2km undersea tunnel was planned to connect Penang capital city George Town on the island with Butterworth on the mainland Seberang Perai.

Judge Azura Alwi set bail at RM1mil in two sureties, and ordered Lim to surrender his passport to the court.

The case will be up for mention next month Sept 9.

Lim is expected to face more charges at the sessions court in Penang next week.

Guan Eng’s defence team is being led by Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo. – Aathi Shankar, 7 Aug 2020, NTHQibord

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