GEORGE TOWN, Mar 26 – The corruption trial involving Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and businesswoman Phang Li Khoon over his RM2.8 million purchase of a double-storey bungalow commenced today at the Penang High Court with the prosecution submitting the amended charges to both the accused.
However, Lim and Phang maintained their innocence and pleaded not guilty to the amended charges, read out before judge Datuk Hadhariah Syed Ismail. For the first amended charge, Lim was charged with using his position as a public officer, namely, Chief Minister of Penang, to gain gratification for himself and his wife.
Betty Chew Gek Cheng, by approving the application for conversion of agriculture land to a public housing zone in southwest Penang to a company, Magnificient Emblem Sdn Bhd. Lim, 58, was charged with committing the offence while chairing the Penang State Planning Committee meeting at the operations room, Level 28, Komtar building here, on July 18, 2014.
For the second amended charge, Lim was charged with using his position to obtain for himself a plot of land and a bungalow located at No 25, Jalan Pinhorn, George Town, from Phang for RM2.8 million on Oct 21, 2015, a price which he allegedly knew did not commensurate with the property’s then market value of RM4.27 million.
The charge was framed under Section 165 of the Penal Code, which provides an imprisonment for up to two years, or a fine, or both, upon conviction. Phang meanwhile is charged with abetting Lim in obtaining the bungalow at an undervalued cost at the same place and date.
She was charged under Section 109 of the Penal Code, read together with Section 165 of the same law, which provides an imprisonment for up to two years, or a fine, or both, upon conviction. The amended charge involved the change of “civil servant” to “public officer” and the change of date is expected to take 23 days from July 28, 2015 to Oct 21, 2015. — PN