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Two plots of land in Penang valued at RM300 million, court told in Guan Eng graft trial

Valuation company director Tan Gaik Eng says he was unaware that the two plots of land were earlier valued at RM80 million by George Town JPPH officers.

2 minute read
Former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng arrives at the Kuala Lumpur court complex today. Photo: Bernama
Former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng arrives at the Kuala Lumpur court complex today. Photo: Bernama

The director of a real estate valuation company told the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court today that two plots of land in Bandar Tanjong Pinang, Penang, which were transferred to Ewein Zenith Sdn Bhd and Consortium Zenith BUCG Sdn Bhd by the state government, were valued at RM300 million.

GE Tan Valuers Sdn Bhd (GETVSB) director Tan Gaik Eng, 71, said his company received a call from Ewein Land Sdn Bhd (ELSB) which asked for the valuation of the land located at Lot 702 in the northeast district, Penang, around June 2013.

Ewein Land is a subsidiary of Ewein Bhd, which was owned by late property developer Ewe Swee Kheng. 

Ewe, who should have been called as the 15th witness, died after reportedly falling from a luxury condominium unit in Jalan Kelawei, Penang, on Oct 5, 2021.

The 30th prosecution witness said he received a report from the George Town Valuation and Property Services Department as a guide for his company to conduct the valuation of the two plots of land, in addition to streamlining the prices in terms of location, form and size of the land as well as the plan of the land itself.

"I prepared a valuation report for ELSB stating that Lot 702 was valued at RM135 million in December 2013 based on the justifications stated.

"In June 2015, my company was again contacted by ELSB to value Lot 713, and we used the same valuation method before issuing a report for the plot with a price of RM165 million in 2016," he said, reading out his witness statement at the trial of former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng.

During cross-examination by Lim's lawyer Gobind Singh Deo, the witness said he did not know that the two plots of land were earlier valued at RM80 million by two George Town JPPH officers.

Earlier, deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib told judge Azura Alwi that the prosecution’s main witness, Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (CZCSB) director Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli, was not present in court for cross-examination as he was on medical leave for four days until Aug 12.
Lim, 61, faces an amended charge of using his position as then Penang chief minister to solicit RM3.3 million in bribes as an inducement to assist Consortium Zenith BUCG Sdn Bhd (CZBUCG) owner Zarul in securing the project worth RM6,341,383,702.

Lim was accused of committing the offence at the Penang Chief Minister’s Office, Level 28, Komtar, George Town, between January 2011 and August 2017.

In the second amended charge, Lim is accused of soliciting a bribe of 10% of the profit from the company as gratification for securing the project.

The offence was allegedly committed near The Gardens Hotel, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City in March 2011.

Lim, the former DAP secretary-general, also faces another two charges of causing two plots of land worth RM208.8 million belonging to the Penang government to be disposed of to two companies linked to the state’s undersea tunnel project, allegedly at the Penang Land and Mines office, at Level 21, Komtar on Feb 17, 2015, and March 22, 2017.

The trial will continue on Nov 23.