BUTTERWORTH — Former Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and businesswoman Phang Li Koon were charged in the Sessions Court here today with corruption.
Lim, 60, and Phang, 48, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge after it was read out to them before judge Ahmad Azhari Abdul Hamid.
Lim was charged, in his capacity as the Chief Minister of Penang and chairman of the Penang Development Corporation (PDC) Procurement Board then, with using his position for gratification, involving RM372,009 for his wife, Betty Chew Gek Cheng, through a company, Excel Property Management & Consultancy Sdn Bhd, by ensuring Magnificent Emblem Sdn Bhd was offered the “Jemputan Cadangan Perkampungan Pekerja di Lot 631, Mukim 13, Juru, Seberang Perai Tengah dan Sebahagian Lot 282, Mukim 13, Batu Kawan, Seberang Perai Selatan, Pulau Pinang”, worth RM11,610,000, where Chew indirectly had interest.
The Bagan Member of Parliament was charged with committing the offence between Aug 19, 2013 and March 3, 2016, at the office of the Penang Chief Minister, Level 28, KOMTAR, in George Town, Penang.
The charge was framed under Section 23(1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009, which provides an imprisonment for up to 20 years and fine of not less than five times the sum or value of the gratification, or RM10,000, whichever is higher, if found guilty.
Phang is charged with abetting Lim in committing the offence at the same place and date.
Meanwhile, Chew, 56, pleaded not guilty to three counts of money laundering by receiving RM372,009 from a company through her bank account.
For all three charges, Chew was alleged to have received RM87,009, RM180,000 and RM105,000, respectively, which were proceeds from unlawful activities from Excel Property Management & Consultancy Sdn Bhd , and deposited into her Public Bank Berhad account.
She was alleged to have committed the offences between Oct 7, 2013 and Aug 4, 2014 for the first charge, between Sept 3, 2014 and Aug 11, 2015 (second charge) and from Sept 4, 2015 to March 3, 2016 (third charge), all at Public Bank Berhad, Taman Melaka Raya branch, Melaka.
The charges were made under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2002, which provides a maximum fine of RM5 million, or imprisonment for up to five years, or both, if found guilty.