Lim Guan Eng, Betty Chew, Phang Li Koon Face Fresh Charges

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Former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng is to be charged for a second time in two days on Tuesday (Aug 11).

Danial Saad/NST

Lim is to be charged alongside his wife Betty Chew Gek Cheng and businesswoman Phang Li Koon at the Butterworth Sessions Court.

The trio are not facing charges related to previous cases on the Penang undersea tunnel project or the sale of the former chief minister’s bungalow on Jalan Pinhorn. These will be fresh charges.

Chew will face three charges, while Lim and Phang will face one charge each.

Today’s proceedings:

7am: The compound outside the Butterworth courthouse starts to fill with media personnel, armed with cameras and ladders.

7.05am: Police personnel are being briefed outside the courthouse.

7.20am: Security will be tight as more policemen from the Light Strike Force (LSF) arrive.

7.52am: Reporters and photographers queue up to receive a pass to enter the courtroom.

8.03am: Several DAP supporters have arrived outside the courthouse and hold up yellow placards in support of Lim.

Steven KE Ooi

8.25am: A convoy of cars believed to be ferrying MACC officials escorted by police outriders enters the courthouse.

8.30am: Deputy Public Prosecutors Ahmad Akram Gharib, Mohd Mukhzany Fariz Mohd Mokhtar and Francine Cheryl Rajendram are seated in the courtroom.

8.38am: A convoy of two MPVs with tinted windows and a car, believed to be carrying Phang Li Koon and her legal team drive into the courthouse grounds.

8.40am: Phang, wearing a black coat, and her lawyer Datuk V Sithambaram enter the courtroom.

8.47am: Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow arrives at the courthouse.

8.50am: Lim arrives in a grey Proton X70. He steps out of his car by the roadside and walks towards the courthouse gate, waving at the crowd. Many more DAP members and assemblymen arrive.

Accompanying Lim are his father Lim Kit Siang, mother Neo Yoke Tee, son Marcus Lim and sister Lim Hui Ying.

8.52am: Lim’s lawyers and fellow DAP members Ramkarpal Singh, Gobind Singh Deo, RSN Rayer and V Vemal Arasan enter the courtroom.

8.53am: The late DAP stalwart Karpal Singh’s wife Gurmit Kaur and state exco member Phee Boon Poh are seen talking to Phang.

8.55am: Lim and his wife enter the courtroom.

8.55am: Lim is seen having a discussion with his wife and Phang in the courtroom.

8.56am: Lim’s sister is seen arguing with the court officials about who can enter the courtroom as she states that family members should be allowed into the courtroom.

9.02am: Lim is speaking to his lawyers Gobind and Ramkarpal.

9.03am: Chew and Phang are seen chatting in the courtroom.

9.10am: Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and daughter Nurul Izzah Anwar arrive at the courthouse.

9.09am: Dr Wan Azizah enters the courtroom. She speaks to Lim and his wife as Kit Siang joins them.

9.13am: Nurul Izzah sits in the courtroom.

9.16am: Dr Wan Azizah chats with Gurmit Kaur.

9.19am: Judge Ahmad Azhari Abdul Hamid enters the court. Proceedings have started.

9.23am: Lim pleads not guilty to a charge of using office or position for gratification under Section 23 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act.

9.30am: Phang, 48, pleads not guilty to abetting Lim Guan Eng as then chief minister and Penang Development Corporation chairman to receive RM372,009 for his wife by ensuring that Magnificent Emblem Sdn Bhd received an offer to build a workers’ dormitory in Juru and Batu Kawan worth RM11.61 million at the Chief Minister’s office in Komtar between Aug 19, 2013, and March 3, 2016.

9.50am: Chew pleads not guilty to three charges under the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2001. She was charged with laundering RM87,009 at Public Bank Taman Melaka Raya in Malacca between Oct 7, 2013 and Oct 4, 2014. The amount is the result of illegal activities of Excel Property Management & Consultancy Sdn Bhd that was deposited into her bank account.

The offence falls under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2001. She faces two more charges under Section 4(1)(b) of the same act for receiving RM180,000 at the same bank between Sept 3, 2014, and Aug 11, 2015, and RM105,000 between Sept 4, 2015, and March 3, 2016.

10.02am: Court proceedings are over, with next mention of the case set for Oct 16. Bail is set at RM50,000 for each person with one surety each. Phang and Chew do not need to surrender their passports.

10.05am: Lim, Phang and Chew are see in the courtroom engaged in discussions with their legal teams.