Betty Chew, the wife of former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng, said she was left “shocked and dazed” upon realising that she, too, had become a suspect in an MACC probe and is slated to be charged in court.
Chew claimed she is still “struggling” to understand her arrest by the MACC in Penang last Friday and the allegations of money laundering made against her.
She said when called in for questioning, she had assumed the anti-graft body merely wanted to quiz her in relation to ongoing investigations against her husband in regard to the RM6.3 billion Penang undersea tunnel project.
“Originally, I thought I was being summoned because of my husband’s case, without knowing that the person they wanted to get at was me.
“… I was informed that I will be arrested and may be charged under the Anti-Money Laundering Act. I was shocked,” she said.
“The whole process was tiring, every single finger of my left and right hand had to be imprinted on a form and my statement had to be recorded. Then a mugshot was taken from the front, left and right with a report number.
“Feeling dazed, I am now officially a money laundering accused,” Chew recounted in a Facebook posting today.
It was reported that Chew is not being investigated in relation to the tunnel project, but instead, her alleged involvement with a private company, Excel Property Management and Consultancy Sdn Bhd.
She is set to be charged under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities (Amla) Act at the Sessions Court in Butterworth tomorrow.
Chew, a lawyer, questioned if legal or consultant fees she procured in the course of services rendered were being questioned.
“What offence did I commit for them to arrest me under the said Act?
“I am a lawyer, a mother, and most importantly, a wife to a great husband, Lim Guan Eng. I live an ordinary lifestyle with honest earnings, and do not indulge in any unlawful activities,” she said.
She vowed to fight baseless accusations against her and seek justice in the courts.
“I studied law to uphold justice, and as a lawyer for 26 years, I’ve defended a lot of people in court, making sure their rights are protected. But today, my own rights are being infringed, being charged so quickly, four days after my statement was taken.”
Previously, in 2017, allegations were made that Chew was a director of Excel Property Management and Consultancy, together with businessperson Phang Li Koon.
Phang had previously been charged and acquitted over Lim’s bungalow scandal.
“Lim gives me love, not luxuries”
Chew maintained her support for the DAP secretary-general and former Pakatan Harapan finance minister, who is facing several graft charges in relation to the Penang undersea tunnel project.
“He is passionate in fighting corruption, giving me love not luxuries. With faith in God, we shall fight this successfully together.
“Adversity shall make our love stronger,” she said.
Chew’s husband and father-in-law have spoken up in her defence and urged the government to drop the case against her.