Penang undersea tunnel project: Lim Guan Eng charged again for corruption

BUTTERWORTH: The controversy surrounding the RM6.3 billion Penang undersea tunnel project which has dragged on for years saw former Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng being brought before the court again today and charged with corruption.

Today, he was brought before the Sessions Court here and charged with using his position as the Chief Minister of Penang for gratification to help a company to secure the project.

Last Friday, Lim had pleaded not guilty in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court to a charge with soliciting gratification to help secure the project for the same company.

At the Sessions Court here today, Lim, 60, was charged with using his position as the Penang Chief Minister then for gratification amounting RM3,300,000 for himself as an inducement for helping a company owned by Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli to secure the project, valued at RM6,341,383,702.

Zarul is a director at Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd.

Lim also pleaded not guilty today before judge Ahmad Azhari Abdul Hamid.

The court then allowed Lim bail, applying the same bail of RM1 million imposed on him by the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court.

Ahmad Azhar also ordered Lim’s case in Penang to be jointly tried with his corruption case at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court following an application by deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

For the charge under Section 16 (a) (A) of the MACC Act, which has been registered at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court, he said, the purpose of soliciting the gratification was to help the company owned by Zarul be appointed to implement the undersea tunnel project.

For the charge of abusing his position, the offence was said to have been committed “by taking action to help the company owned by Zarul to be appointed to implement the Main Road and Tunnel Construction Project in Penang worth RM6,341,383,702, he added.

Ahmad Akram said the most significant factor was that the two charges involved the same key witness, that is Zarul, and in both cases, involved the same project.