Four bank accounts owned by Penang state executive councillor Phee Boon Poh have been frozen over investigations into an illegal carbon filter factory in Sungai Lembu near Bukit Mertajam, the media reported, but which Phee says is untrue.
Updated: An upset Phee Boon Poh said he will sue newspapers for publishing a false report over the alleged freezing of his bank accounts by the MACC. He claimed the false news was “an evil political conspiracy” against him and the Penang government.
“I reiterate that I am clean and free from corruption. I did not take any money from the unlicensed carbon filter processing factory in Sungai Lembu.
“Neither do my family or I have any personal interest in the factory nor are the owners of the factory related to me,” he said.
Phee added that his lawyers will file a notice of demand immediately to the newspapers “to protect my family, clear my name”. Among the newspapers he plans to sue are Utusan Malaysia, The Star, New Straits Times, Sin Chew Jit Poh and Guang Ming Daily.
The Star cited a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) source as saying that the personal accounts totalling about RM2 million were frozen before the weekend.
The source was quoted as saying that the agency was still investigating the case and recording statements from relevant parties over the controversial carbon filter processing factory which allegedly had been operating without a valid permit for years and caused environmental pollution.
Reacting to the reports of the alleged freeze on his bank accounts, Phee denied he has RM2 million in the bank.
“My family and I were shocked to read false newspaper reports that RM2 million cash in my four personal bank accounts have been frozen by MACC.
“I do not have RM2 million in these personal accounts as reported,” he told a press conference in Komtar today.
He claimed that he had no knowledge of whether his accounts have been frozen.
Phee, 66, was in the custody of the MACC for three days before the High Court declared his five-day remand invalid on Aug 14. The MACC has since it intends to appeal the decision.
The DAP assemblyman for Sungai Puyu is being probed for using his office or position for gratification under Section 23 of the MACC Act 2009.
The commission said it is investigating two letters allegedly written by Phee, asking that no action be taken against the illegal carbon filter processing factory.
If convicted, he faces 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine not less than five times the value of the gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher.
Phee was on medical leave from state government work after his release from remand.