GEORGE TOWN, June 30 ― Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and businesswoman Phang Li Khoon were slapped with charges at the Sessions Court this morning over their allegedly corrupt house purchase deal last year.
A sombre-looking Lim garbed in a dark suit and red polka dot tie claimed tried to two charges, one under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act and another under the Penal Code.
He was first charged with using his public office or position to obtain gratification for himself and his wife, Betty Chew, by approving an application by Magnificent Emblem to convert agricultural land to residential purpose during a state exco meeting on July 18, 2014.
Section 23 carries a jail term of not more than 20 years and a fine of five times the value of gratification or RM10,000 whichever is higher.
The second charge was under Section 165 of the Penal Code, the same section used to convict former Selangor mentri besar Khir Toyo.
Lim is alleged to have used his position to obtain gratification by purchasing his house from Phang at RM2.8 million, which was below the property’s market value of RM4.7 million on July 28, 2015.
The second offence is punishable by up to two years’ imprisonment, a fine, and forfeiture of property upon conviction.
Gobind Singh Deo led the defence team for Lim while Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali led the prosecution team.
After the charges were read, Apandi asked for the case to be transferred to the Penang High Court and Sessions Court judge Roslan Hamid allowed the application and set the case for mention at the High Court.
Phang meanwhile was charged with abetting Lim on July 28 last year under Section 109 of the Penal Code.
On Apandi’s request, the businesswoman’s case was also transferred to the High Court. – Malay Mail Online