Lim Guan Eng pleads not guilty to two charges

BUTTERWORTH • Malaysia's former finance minister Lim Guan Eng has pleaded not guilty to two charges of dishonest misappropriation of property amounting to over RM200 million (S$66 million).

Lim was charged yesterday with disposing of two properties in the form of land to two firms linked to a controversial undersea tunnel project.

The charge was on the dishonest misappropriation of property leading to the disposal of state land in Bandar Tanjong Pinang, Penang, worth RM135,086,094, to Ewein Zenith in February 2015. Lim was the chief minister at that time.

He was also charged with dishonest misappropriation of property leading to the disposal of another plot of state land in Bandar Tanjong Pinang worth RM73,668,986 to Zenith Urban Development in March 2017.

Under the Penal Code, a person who dishonestly misappropriates, or converts to his own use, or causes any other person to dispose of, any property, faces a jail term of not less than six months and up to five years. The person also faces caning and a fine.

Last month, Lim was slapped with multiple charges.

He was charged on Aug 7 with soliciting a 10 per cent cut of profits from Consortium Zenith Construction in March 2011 in exchange for helping the firm secure the RM6.3 billion Penang undersea tunnel project.

On Aug 10, he was charged with soliciting a bribe of RM3.3 million from Consortium Zenith Construction between January 2011 and August 2017 in exchange for helping the firm to be appointed as the builder of three roads related to the undersea tunnel project.

On Aug 11, Lim was charged - along with his wife Betty Chew and businesswoman Phang Li Koon - with abusing his public office for gratification when he was chief minister and Penang Development Corporation chairman between Aug 19, 2013, and March 3, 2016. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 12, 2020, with the headline 'Lim Guan Eng pleads not guilty to two charges'. Print Edition | Subscribe