Phee Freed from Remand, MACC to Appeal Court’s Decision

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The MACC says the High Court decision to set aside a remand order for Phee Boon Poh has affected its investigations into an illegal factory.

Mikail Ong/NST

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will appeal against the Penang High Court’s decision to set aside a remand order for Sungai Puyu assemblyman Phee Boon Poh, factory manager Gan Buck Hee and factory director Edmund Gan Eu Leong, effectively releasing the three men.

In a statement today, the MACC said it was “not satisfied” with the ruling.

“MACC views this matter seriously as the decision has affected the ongoing investigation into the illegal factory,” it said in a statement.

High Court JC Abdul Wahab Mohamed found the remand order to have contravened Section 117 (5) of the Criminal Procedure Code.

“The word ‘shall’ in subsection 5 is mandatory, and the respondent has not submitted literature to the contrary.

“The applicants had been denied natural justice.

 “I hereby set aside the Magistrate’s Court remand order,” Wahab had said in his ruling.

He also ordered for the handcuffs on the three suspects to be removed immediately.

The subsection says the magistrate deciding the period of detention of the accused “shall” allow representations to be made, either by the accused himself or through a counsel of his choice.

Phee’s lawyers, Ramkarpal Singh and RSN Rayer, had argued that they were not given a chance by the senior assistant registrar of the Magistrate’s Court on Saturday to air their submissions.

After the judgment was handed down, DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng were seen hugging Phee.

KE Ooi/MMO

The duo then led Phee and a group of DAP supporters across the courthouse to Green Hall Road where Ramkarpal’s office, Karpal Singh & Co is located.

RSN Rayer revealed that the MACC would want to talk to Phee again at its office.

“We have told the investigating officer that we are willing to assist them and cooperate if further statements from him are required. They can serve us a notice.”

Yesterday, it was reported that the MACC also had plans to talk to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and Penanti assemblyman Dr Norlela Ariffin, whose constituency is where the factory was located.

Phee vowed to stand firm and maintained his innocence.

“I will continue to serve the people to the best of my abilities.

“We have got to be together because this is the darkest hour in Malaysia, when we need change.

“Change comes through sacrifice. And, sacrifices like this, our leaders are all prepared for, for the sake of the people, to make a better Malaysia,” Phee told reporters.

Revealing that Phee was unwell, Rayer said Phee was expected to go for a medical check-up later.

At about 2.15pm today, a six-man team from the Department of Environment (DOE) visited the illegal carbon filter-processing factory in Sungai Lembu to close it.

The illegal factory is at the heart of the MACC’s investigation that saw Phee, and the two Gans arrested.

The team toured the factory, inspected the sawdust pits and spoke to two workers.

As the sawdust pits were still burning, a fire engine was brought in at 1.25pm to extinguish the fire from the pits.

Several contractors had earlier arrived to collect stocks of carbon but left when the officers showed up.


Earlier reports:

Aug 14, Phee in Tears Meeting Family Members in Court

Aug 12, Penang Exco Phee Boon Poh, Factory Manager and Director Remanded for Five Days

Aug 11, MACC Arrests Penang Exco Phee Boon Poh in Illegal Factory Probe