PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Another photo of Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng with a man who resembles the Datuk Seri being investigated by Malaysia's anti-graft agency in the probe into the Penang undersea tunnel project has emerged on cyberspace.
The photo shows the 37-year-old Datuk Seri who is being investigated for allegedly receiving RM 19 million (S$6.4 million) to "help settle" the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's (MACC) probe on the controversial undersea tunnel and three highways project.
The photo was taken in a car showing the Datuk Seri and Lim smiling widely. A caption that went with the photograph claimed that it was taken in August last year.
In early March, a photo of Lim and the Datuk Seri that was believed to have been taken at a private residence went viral.
Penang is controlled by the opposition Pakatan Harapan alliance, led by the Democratic Action Party (DAP). Lim is the secretary-general of the DAP.
A source had told The Star last month the businessman is believed to have obtained the money from the project's main construction company and that the MACC believed he may have convinced the main company that he was able to close the case.
The man, believed to be also an actor in an upcoming local action movie, is said to have received the money in three portions between July and August last year.
He was detained by the MACC last month at its headquarters, where his statement was also recorded.
The Penang undersea tunnel project came under spotlight following reports lodged by the vice-president of the small Penang-based Parti Cinta Malaysia party, Datuk Huan Cheng Guan, in 2016. The MACC later stepped in and started an investigation into the mega project.
The businessman is the fifth person to be arrested in relation to investigations on the feasibility studies involving three main roads and an undersea tunnel.
In January, two high-ranking Datuks from construction companies were remanded while a Datuk Seri chairman and a senior engineering consultant were also detained.
The mega project in Penang includes the construction of a 7.2km undersea tunnel connecting Gurney Drive on the island to Bagan Ajam in north Butterworth.
There will also be a 10.53km north coastal paired road from Tanjung Bungah to Teluk Bahang, a 5.7km Air Itam-Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway bypass and a 4.075km Gurney Drive-Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway bypass.
The Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), a component party of Malaysia's ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, has quickly hit out at Lim over the photo. MCA publicity spokesman Ti Lian Ker said that Lim had conveniently brushed off the issue when a photo of him and the Datuk Seri first emerged, claiming that he had taken photographs with numerous personalities and denied having any dealings with the businessman.
But with a second photograph of Lim and the Datuk Seri emerging now, Ti asked: "So, what is Guan Eng's excuse this time?"
Separately, Barisan Nasional chairman Teng Chang Yeow said Lim is suing him for his statements over the project.
Teng, who is also the state Gerakan chairman, said he received the writ of summons two to three days ago, and it has been fixed for case management on April 16 at the Penang High Court.
He said, however, that he would continue to speak up on the issue without touching on matters Lim had deemed defamatory.