Witness says he gave Guan Eng RM3.3 million to secure undersea tunnel project

A witness tells the KL Sessions Court today he gave RM3.3 million to Lim Guan Eng (pictured) to help his company secure the three paired roads and undersea tunnel project in Penang. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, June 24, 2022.

THE director of Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd told the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court today that he gave RM3.3 million to Lim Guan Eng to help his company secure the three paired roads and undersea tunnel project in Penang.

Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli, 62, said all the money given to Lim, who was Penang chief minister at the time, was subject to two conditions, that he be awarded the project and that it would be paid as soon as payment was approved.

“This was all a part of the demand for 10% of the project’s profits. If the project was not awarded to me, of course, I would not pay,” he said when reading his testimony during examination by deputy public prosecutor Farah Yasmin Salleh at Lim’s corruption trial today.

On the delivery of RM2 million out of RM3.3 million to Lim, Zarul said he gave the money to Lim through a businessman named Gnanaraja, who acted as an intermediary as there were concerns that he (Zarul) was being monitored by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

“On August 17, 2017, I informed Azli Adam to withdraw RM2 million that would be given to Lim. After my project dealings were completed in Penang, I contacted and told Gnanaraja that I wanted to meet him the next day.

“I told him that I wanted to give some ‘chocolates’ to him to give to the ‘big boss’ through a WhatsApp message. Chocolate refers to money,” he said.

The 23rd prosecution witness said that at around 5pm, he met Gnanaraja at a hotel in Petaling Jaya to pass two sports bags filled with RM1 million each.

“Gnanaraja arrived and parked in front of my car in the hotel lobby. He was in a Bentley. I got down and placed the two bags on the bonnet of his car,” he said.

Gnanaraja handed one of those bags to Lim while they were on their way to a shopping mall on August 20, 2017.

“I could see Lim was happy when I introduced Gnanaraja to him and on the way to Publika, Lim said he would go to Gnanaraja’s house to discuss matters with him.

“When we reached Publika, Lim thanked me and patted my shoulder. I was sure it was because he had taken the bag containing RM1 million and he was showing me his appreciation,” he said.

Zarul said that he had informed Gnanaraja to pass the remaining RM1 million that was in the former’s care to Lim, who was in Kuala Lumpur to attend a party meeting on August 28, 2017.

Zarul said Lim asked for RM2 million as he expected that polls would be held soon at that time and if he failed to provide the money, he feared Lim would disturb his project in the future. 

He added that he had also given Lim RM1 million in January, April and May 2016, and that the money constituted the 10% cut from the project’s profits.

The witness also said that around December 2014, he had given Lim RM100,000 during his birthday and yesterday he told the court that he gave RM200,000 to Lim in 2013 and 2014.

Zarul added that he cooperated with the MACC not because of politics but after they shared with him several facts they had showing that he was merely being used as a tool by Lim.

“If I was not called by the MACC to provide a statement, then this would not have come to light and I would not have exposed anything about Lim and my misconduct. MACC had merely continued their investigations from early 2018.

“The MACC investigation this time exposed findings that led to my full disclosure. A large withdrawal was found and they asked me about it. To prevent action being taken against Azli and I, I decided to speak in more detail about other payments made to Lim,” he said.

Lim, 61, is facing amended charges of using his position as Penang chief minister to solicit RM3.3 million in bribes and also a 10% cut from Zarul’s company’s profits from the undersea tunnel project. He also is accused of causing two plots of land belonging to the state government to be disposed of to two companies linked to the tunnel project.

The trial before judge Azura Alwi continues Monday. – Bernama, June 24, 2022.

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  • All hearsay, without a shred of evidence.

    Posted 1 month ago by Arul Inthirarajah · Reply