Guan Eng Acquitted over Sale of Penang Home

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Lawyers for Lim previously submitted a written representation seeking a withdrawal of the charges, which the Attorney-General’s chambers accepted.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng and businesswoman Phang Li Koon were acquitted over the alleged conversion of land status and the purchase of a bungalow below market value.

Low Chia Ming/Malaysiakini

High Court judge Justice Hadhariah Syed Ismail acquitted both the accused and decided the charges be dropped despite the prosecution only proposing a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA).

Hadhariah said the case could not be held and that the right thing to do was to acquit the accused since the prosecutors had decided to drop the case altogether.

He added that both the accused will be released immediately and would not be called again for the case in future, as they are discharged amounting to acquittal.

Lim was charged with using his position as chief minister to gain gratification for himself and his wife Betty Chew by approving the application for conversion of agricultural land to a public housing zone in Balik Pulau to Magnificent Emblem Sdn Bhd.

He faced a second charge of using his position to obtain a plot of land and bungalow at No 25, Jalan Pinhorn, on July 28, 2015, from Phang for RM2.8mil, at below market value.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) says it is “shocked” over the acquittal of Lim and Phang.

“The MACC is shocked by the decision by the Penang High Court in acquitting the former chief minister of the charges of corruption in relation to the sale of a bungalow lot and the charge of conspiring with businesswoman Phang after the prosecution retracted the case.

“The MACC would like to stress that the decision was made by the Attorney General’s office and not the MACC,” it said in a statement on Monday (Sep 3).