Articles, Opinions & Views: Guan Eng received RM100k bribe with a smile, claims company exec

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Guan Eng received RM100k bribe with a smile, claims company exec
Thursday, June 23, 2022

Malaysiakini : The witness claimed that after getting a date for the meeting between 11am and 12am (date not specified) he prepared RM100,000 in an A4-size envelope inside his computer bag.

‘This is for you, sir’

As Lim looked on from the dock, Zarul claimed that after a discussion with the accused on floor 28 of the Komtar building, the witness took out the envelope and personally handed it to the accused.

“I did not inform how much money was given and I merely said ‘This is for you, sir’. He (Lim) received the envelope that he was certain contained the money.

“I then left from his office. He merely smiled upon receiving the envelope,” Zarul claimed.

Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (ZCSB) senior executive director Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli

He alleged that the 2013 money was a milestone payment that originated from his company ZCSB.

In relation to the purported 2014 bribery incident, Zarul claimed that he took RM100,000 out of his other company Vista Lestari Development Sdn Bhd in the form of a payment voucher (PV).

The witness claimed that in the run-up to Chinese New Year festivities in January that year, he again went to Lim’s office at Komtar by himself around 5pm.

Zarul alleged that in the meetup with Lim, where no other officers were present, the witness claimed he handed RM100,000 enclosed in a white envelope to the island state’s then top executive.

The witness claimed that before the bribe was given, he and the accused were discussing the progress of the feasibility study of the project.

Zarul alleged that Lim did not refuse to receive the envelope and that the latter purportedly did not ask what was inside the envelope.

‘I am indebted to YB’

“I was inside YB (The Honourable) Lim Guan Eng’s room for only a brief moment. YB appeared happy after receiving the envelope from me,” the witness claimed.

“I have no malicious motive against YB Lim Guan Eng and at no time wish for them to talk and make false statement about my statement.

“In fact, I am indebted to YB Lim Guan Eng for awarding the mega project to my company, whereby I was not someone known (by the accused) to that of a major businessperson.

“The award of the project by the Penang state government headed by its then chief minister YB Lim Guan Eng had elevated (me) as a successful bumiputera businessperson.

“Yes, I know that the act of promising percentage of the profit from the project is an offence but I was confident that anybody else in my shoes would feel indebted and wish to reciprocate those who gave help.

“I also know that the act of asking for any payback and giving payment in relation to the project is also an offence.

“All of these matters are corruption and an offence under the law,” Zarul testified.

RM6.3 billion project

Proceedings before Azura will resume tomorrow for the witness to continue reading from his written witness statement.

The ongoing trial concerns four graft charges against Lim, who is also the Bagan MP and Air Putih assemblyperson.

One charge, framed under Section 16(A)(a) and Section 23 of the MACC Act, accuses him of using his position as then Penang chief minister for the gratification of RM3.3 million as inducement for helping a company belonging to Zarul to secure the island state's RM6.3 billion undersea tunnel project.

The offence was allegedly perpetrated at the Penang Chief Minister's Office, 28th Floor at Komtar in George Town, Penang, between January 2011 and August 2017.

Under Section 23(1) of the MACC Act, the offence is punishable with imprisonment of up to 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the value of the gratification, or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

The second charge, also under Section 16(A)(a), states that Lim, in his capacity as the then Penang chief minister, solicited from Zarul bribes amounting to 10 percent of the profits to be earned by the company as gratification for helping the company secure the project.

The offence was allegedly committed near The Gardens Hotel, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City, Kuala Lumpur, between 12.30am and 2am in March 2011.

The charge, framed under Section 16 of the MACC Act, provides for imprisonment for up to 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the value of the gratification, or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

Lim also faces two counts of causing two plots of land, worth RM208.8 million and belonging to the Penang government, to be disposed to two companies allegedly linked to the undersea tunnel project.

The two charges, framed under Section 403 of the Penal Code, carry imprisonment of up to five years, whipping, and a fine.

The offences were allegedly committed at the Penang Land and Mines Office, Level 21, Komtar, between Feb 17, 2015, and March 22, 2017.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 3:15 PM  
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