KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 — A key prosecution witness in the corruption trial of Lim Guan Eng recounted in the Sessions Court today how he gave RM200,000 in bribes to the former chief minister.
Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (CZCSB) senior executive director Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli said the money was to “fulfill” a 2011 pledge he made to give 10 per cent of future profits on the construction of three roads and an undersea tunnel in Penang.
The prosecution witness testified that the RM200,000 in cash were given on two separate occasions between August 2013 and January 2014.
“As I have stated before, YB Lim did not ask for money from me but I was trying to fulfill my promise on his request for 10 per cent of the net profit that was made in March 2011.
Zarul Ahmad noted that Lim was Penang chief minister at the time.
He added that Lim had the final say in relation to the project in the state executive council meetings since his company had been awarded the Letter Of Award to implement the project.
On both occasions, Zarul Ahmad said he met Lim at the Chief Minister's Office in Komtar, George Town to hand over the cash — part of the 10 per cent profit to be made by the company for the undersea tunnel project — kept inside an envelope.
Zarul Ahmad also testified in court that he was “shocked” when Lim had asked for 10 per cent of the profit from the project in exchange for being awarded the contract through an open tender.
In the first instance before Hari Raya Puasa in 2013, Zarul Ahmad said he secured an appointment to brief Lim on the project's progress through the latter’s aide.
“I then prepared RM100,000 in an A4-sized envelope and placed it inside my laptop bag.
“After our discussion at Lim’s Komtar office, I took out the envelope containing the cash and handed it over to Lim myself.”
During the handover, Zarul Ahmad said he did not disclose the amount to Lim, but told the latter “this is for you, sir”.
“He just smiled upon receiving the envelope,” Zarul Ahmad said in his witness statement, describing in detail how the cash payments to Lim were delivered.
In the second instance ahead of the Chinese New Year celebration in 2014, Zarul Ahmad said he once again secured an appointment with Lim in a similar manner before handing over RM100,000 to the latter that was kept in an envelope.
“I handed over the envelope to YB Lim and he immediately took it from me. He neither asked about its content nor did he decline.
“YB seemed happy after receiving the envelope,” Zarul Ahmad said.
Lim is facing an amended charge of using his position as Penang chief minister to receive RM3.3 million in bribes to help Consortium Zenith BUCG Sdn Bhd to obtain the undersea tunnel project.
On the second amended charge, Lim is accused of soliciting bribes amounting to 10 per cent of the profits of the company from Zarul Ahmad as gratification for getting the project.
Lim, who is also Bagan MP, is also faced with two charges of causing two plots of land, worth RM208.8 million, belonging to the Penang government to be disposed of to two companies, which are linked to the state’s undersea tunnel project.