PETALING JAYA • The wife of former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng and a businesswoman, Ms Phang Li Koon, were arrested by the Penang office of Malaysia’s anti-graft agency yesterday, local media reported, raising speculation that Lim will again be charged over the 2015 purchase of a bungalow.
The women were at the office to give their statements to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), local media said.
Lim’s wife, Ms Betty Chew, left the MACC building some five hours later at around 4.30pm after posting bail of RM50,000 (S$16,500), Bernama news agency reported.
Ms Chew’s lawyer, Mr Lee Khai, said she will be charged in a Butterworth court on Tuesday under the anti-money laundering Act, though it was unclear if it will be related to the purchase of the bungalow by Lim from Ms Phang.
Lim, Malaysia’s former finance minister, was yesterday charged at the Special Corruption Court in Kuala Lumpur for soliciting a bribe over a controversial undersea tunnel project during his tenure as Penang chief minister. He pleaded not guilty.
In the separate bungalow case, Lim had been charged in 2016 for allegedly receiving gratification by purchasing the bungalow from Ms Phang at below market value when he was the chief minister of the Malaysian state.
He was also charged with abusing his power as chief minister by re-zoning a plot of land that was eventually acquired by Magnificent Emblem, a firm linked to Ms Phang, who was charged with abetment.
But the court case was dropped, and both Lim and Ms Phang were granted an acquittal by the High Court in 2018, soon after the Pakatan Harapan coalition stormed to power in the general election.
The MACC had said then that the acquittal was “shocking”.