Contractor: Guan Eng’s bungalow renovation costs over RM120,000

GEORGE TOWN: The renovation of Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s bungalow at 25, Jalan Pinhorn cost a total of RM121,131.03 in 2009, the High Court heard today.

Contractor Chong Eng Tong, whose company was hired for the renovation works, said the amount included labour costs from March 1 until June 30, 2009.

Chong said someone by the name of Ah Yong had contacted him in February or March 2009 and asked him to renovate the bungalow.

The 61-year-old then went to the house, which was vacant at the time.

“Among the renovation works we carried out were expanding the living room, putting in marble flooring, expanding the dining room, expanding the space behind the house, erecting a security guard post, as well as a car park area,” he told the court.

Chong said when he started renovation works at the house, he did not know the bungalow was for the chief minister.

However, as his workers started constructing the guard post, he found out from Ah Yong that the house was for Lim.

Chong, who has 22 years of experience in house renovation, was testifying in Lim’s corruption trial which entered its second day today before Justice Hadhariah Syed Ismail.

Lim, 57, was charged on June 30, 2016, with using his public office to obtain gratification for himself and his wife, Betty Chew, by approving an application by Magnificent Emblem Sdn Bhd (MESB) to convert agricultural land for residential purposes.

Lim was also alleged to have used his position to obtain gratification by purchasing a bungalow from businesswoman Phang Li Koon for RM2.8 million, which is below the property’s market value of RM4.27 million, on July 28, 2015.

Phang was charged with abetment. Both Lim and Phang have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Earlier, Teoh Poh Huat, the director of real estate company Henry Butcher Malaysia (Penang) Sdn Bhd, told the court his company had carried out a valuation of the Jalan Pinhorn property on Nov 21, 2008.

The physical valuation was carried out by the company’s assistant manager of its valuation division, Yeoh Peng Hong, who checked the interior and exterior of the property.

Teoh said the valuation was based on similar sale and purchase transactions involving other properties.

“After looking into all factors and making price comparisons of properties close to the bungalow, the reasonable market value was placed at RM2.5 million,” he said.

The prosecution, led by deputy public prosecutor Masri Mohd Daud, is expected to call 55 witnesses for the trial.

Lim is represented by Gobind Singh Deo, RSN Rayer and Hisyam Teh, while Phang is represented by V Sithambaram and Rueban Kumar.

 

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