Monday, July 4, 2022

Guan Eng smiled as he took envelopes of cash, businessman tells court

Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd director Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli says he handed over RM200,000 in 2013 and 2014.

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Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (ZCSB) director Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli told the Sessions Court yesterday that the former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng smiled and seemed happy when receiving the envelopes containing RM200,000 that he gave him in 2013 and 2014.

Zarul, 62, said he gave RM100,000 to Lim in 2013 as a milestone payment for the preliminary agreement from the profits that the company had made in the construction project of the main roads and undersea tunnel in Penang.

“The source of the RM100,000 cash was from ZCSB’s money. The RM100,000 was part of the bribe money from the 10% cut from the profits requested by Lim Guan Eng,” he said.

Zarul was reading from his witness statement at the trial of Lim’s corruption case, in which Lim faces four charges involving the construction of an undersea tunnel and main roads in Penang worth RM6.3 billion.

Zarul said he made an appointment with Lim in August 2013 to submit reports regarding the project and to ask for advice and direction from the politician.

He said after speaking with Lim in his office on the 28th floor of Komtar, he produced an A4-sized envelope filled with cash which he handed over to Lim, saying: “This is for you, sir.”

“Lim took the envelope and just smiled,” the 23rd prosecution witness added.

He said the second payment of RM100,000 was made before the Chinese New Year celebration in January 2014, also at Lim’s office in Komtar.

He told the court that he put RM100,000 in cash inside a white envelope which he gave to Lim after discussing the feasibility study that his company was conducting in connection with the construction project.

“At this stage, my company had been given a letter of award to implement the project. Lim accepted the envelope that I gave him. I was in his office only for a while but he seemed happy after receiving the envelope,” Zarul said.

Earlier, Zarul said Lim did not ask for money from him but that he tried to keep his promise to Lim who had requested a 10% cut from the profits of the undersea tunnel and main roads project awarded to his company.

“As a businessman, keeping promises is important. All the money that I had was from the working capital fund.

“I received funds from investors such as Ewien Zenith Sdn Bhd (EZCB) managing director, the late Ewe Swee Kheng. I saved some of it in cash to make contributions to Lim,” he added.

Lim is facing an amended charge of using his position as Penang chief minister to receive RM3.3 million in bribes to assist Zarul’s company in obtaining the construction project valued at RM6,341,383,702, at the Penang Chief Minister’s Office on the 28th floor of Komtar, George Town, between January 2011 and August 2017.

In the second amended charge, Lim is accused of soliciting bribes amounting to 10% of the company profits from Zarul as a form of appreciation for winning the project. The offence was allegedly committed near The Garden Hotels, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City, in March 2011.

Lim also faces two charges of causing two lots of land worth RM208.8 million belonging to the Penang government to be disposed of to the companies related to the undersea tunnel project.

He was charged with committing the offences at the Penang Land and Mines Office on the 21st floor of Komtar on Feb 17, 2015 and March 22, 2017.

The trial before judge Azura Alwi continues.

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