Lim Guan Eng's wife and businesswoman in bungalow case arrested by Malaysia's anti-graft agency: Reports

(From left) Ms Betty Chew, the wife of former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng, and businesswoman Phang Li Koon.
(From left) Ms Betty Chew, the wife of former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng, and businesswoman Phang Li Koon.PHOTOS: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

PETALING JAYA - The wife of former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng, and businesswoman Phang Li Koon are at the Penang office of Malaysia's anti-graft agency, local media widely reported on Friday (Aug 7), raising speculation that Lim will again be charged over the 2015 purchase of a bungalow.

The women are there to give their statements to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), local media said.

Reports in Malaysiakini and Malay Mail news sites, quoting sources, said both Ms Phang and Lim's wife Betty Chew have been "arrested" by the MACC.

Lim was charged in 2016 for allegedly receiving gratification by purchasing the bungalow from Ms Phang at below market value when he was the Penang chief minister.

He was also charged with abusing his power as Penang chief minister by re-zoning a plot of land that was eventually acquired by Magnificent Emblem, a company linked to Ms Phang, who was charged with abetment.

But the court case was dropped, and both Lim and Ms Phang were granted an acquittal by the High Court in 2018, soon after the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition stormed to power in the general election. The MACC had said then that the acquittal was "shocking".

Lim, whose Democratic Action Party was one of the four that made up PH, was made finance minister in the PH government.

On Friday, he was charged at the Special Corruption Court for soliciting a bribe over a controversial RM6.3 billion (S$2.06 billion) undersea tunnel project during his tenure as chief minister. He pleaded not guilty.

Lim is secretary-general of the opposition DAP, which has the biggest number of lawmakers in the federal Parliament.