The manager and director of an illegal factory were arrested yesterday evening while DAP leaders attended a vigil for Penang exco Phee Boon Poh last night.
Soon after Penang executive councillor Phee Boon Poh was detained while giving his statement at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters in Penang at 3.35pm yesterday, a father and son duo were arrested in connection with the probe of an illegal factory.
The two are the factory’s manager and director, aged 37 and 70 respectively. They were arrested at about 6.45pm when they arrived at the Penang MACC headquarters to have their statements recorded.
All three detained were taken to the Magistrate’s Court today for remand. They arrived at the courthouse in three separate vehicles at about 10.05am
All were clad in orange MACC lock-up attire and handcuffed separately. Phee was the first to be led in, followed by the son and father.
State DAP leaders and other supporters were present in a show of solidarity for Phee.
The Magistrate’s Court ordered that the three men be remanded for five days.
Phee, 66, will be investigated for using his office or position for gratification under Section 23 of the MACC Act 2009.
If found guilty, he faces 20 years’ jail, a fine of not less than five times the value of gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher.
At 9.30pm last night, a candlelight vigil demanding Phee’s release was held outside the MACC headquarters.
Despite the rain, about 100 people, including Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and other state executive council members as well as DAP leaders and supporters, attended the vigil
Addressing the crowd, Lim said the Penang government’s stand was clear in fighting corruption.
“We will not protect anyone…if Phee did something wrong, we support the action to be taken against him.
“However, we want to stress that investigations should be fair and that the law to be applied justly to all,” Lim said.
He also said that the Penang government believed that Phee did not receive any money and had no personal interest in the illegal carbon filter factory currently under probe.
Lim added that he would leave it to the MACC to investigate.
“On our part, we are confident that he did no wrong,” he stressed.
Lim said that it was public knowledge that Phee, who is in charge of the welfare, caring society and environment portfolio, was the wealthiest among all the state executive council members.
Meanwhile, Phee’s lawyer RSN Rayer revealed that the focal point in MACC’s investigation of his client was a letter Phee wrote to the Seberang Prai Municipal Council (MPSP) appealing to them in his capacity as state environment committee chairman.
“I am not sure why MACC is so eager to catch him. He is being investigated under Section 23 of the MACC Act for using his position to get bribes.
“However, Phee told MACC that he has no personal interest or stake in the factory. Our explanation was accepted by MACC,” Rayer said.