Guan Eng bungalow case can be reopened, says minister

Charges against former finance minister Lim Guan Eng were dropped in September 2018. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission is free to reopen its investigations into former finance minister Lim Guan Eng’s purchase of a bungalow if new evidence surfaces, the Dewan Rakyat was told.

The de facto law minister, Takiyuddin Hassan, said in a written reply to Ahmad Fadhli Shaari (PAS-Pasir Mas), that there was no obstruction and MACC was free to reopen investigations as it was an independent body.

Fadhli has asked whether there were plans to reopen investigations into the case, after the charges against Lim and businesswoman Phang Li Koon were dropped in September 2018.

Takiyuddin said the then attorney-general had asked for a discharge not amounting to an acquittal, which meant that Lim was conditionally free of the charges without being fully acquitted.

“However, the court gave a full acquittal to the accused after hearing the Attorney-General’s Chambers’ argument that there was a new lead,” he said.

“After that, the attorney-general did not make any appeal against the court’s decision.”

Lim was charged with using his public office to obtain gratification for himself and his wife by approving an application by Magnificent Emblem Sdn Bhd to convert agricultural land for residential purposes during a state executive council meeting on July 18, 2014.

He was also charged with using his position to obtain gratification by purchasing a bungalow from Phang at below its market value. Phang was charged with abetting him.

The MACC expressed shock over the decision to free Lim and Phang, saying the recommendation was made by the attorney-general’s office and did not come from the agency.