24.9.2021: Several WhatsApp exchanges between two people who supposedly had links with Lim Guan Eng were brought up in the graft trial of the former Penang chief minister.
By RASHVINJEET S. BEDI – Saturday, 25 Sep 2021
KUALA LUMPUR: Several WhatsApp exchanges between two people who supposedly had links with Lim Guan Eng were brought up in the graft trial of the former Penang chief minister.
The Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court was told about these exchanges which ranged from purported meetings with Lim to personal and affectionate messages to one another.
The messages from the phone of businessman G. Gnanaraja were between him and Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd senior executive director Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli, and were read out by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission officer Wan Mohd Firdaus Wan Yusof, the eighth witness in Lim’s graft trial.
“Superb sir. I’ll bring your chocolate. Eastin?” read one message from Gnanaraja to Zarul Ahmad on Aug 18, 2017.
“Aiyoo sir, PM went to whack my tunnel project n this Tony Pua whack him back.
“PM is giving Rahman Dahlan excuse to continue attacking,” Zarul Ahmad texted Gnanaraja, with a news article on the Penang tunnel project attached to the message.
In another message on Aug 20, 2017, Zarul Ahmad told Gnanaraja that “CM called me and he look (sic) for the soonest time to come over to your house”.
Gnanaraja’s wife K. Geethanjali had testified earlier in the trial that Lim and Zarul Ahmad had visited her house in the early hours of the morning in August 2017.
In another message on Aug 28, Zarul Ahmad told Gnanaraja, “Sir I’m waiting for him near Tropicana. His function is still on.”
Closer to midnight, Zarul Ahmad messaged Gnanaraja again saying, “Sir he just texted me. He says one more hour. Are you ok with it sir.”
On Aug 29, 2017, at 12.52am, he messaged Gnanaraja again: “We are OTW sir.”
Under cross-examination by defence counsel Gobind Singh Deo, Wan Mohd Firdaus read out more exchanges between the two.
“I love you Dato. You are constantly on my mind. I’ll finish anyone who disturbs you Dato,” Zarul Ahmad said, with Gnanaraja replying: “I’m so grateful sir. I’ll make you a star that shines bright in the cabinet.”In another message, Zarul Ahmad told Gnanaraja: “Ada one important news. Tomorrow I’ll talk to you in the morning Dato. I love you my dearest Dato,” with Gnanaraja replying “Ok sure sir. Love you too sir.” The case resumes on Nov 1.
Lim, 60, is facing four corruption charges involving the construction of an undersea tunnel and paired roads project in Penang.
For the first amended charge, the Bagan MP is charged with using his position as then Penang chief minister to corruptly receive RM3.3mil to help Zarul Ahmad’s company secure the project in Penang worth RM6,341,383,702.
The offence was allegedly committed between January 2011 and August 2017 at the Penang Chief Minister’s office.
For the second amended charge, Lim is charged with soliciting 10% of the profits from Zarul Ahmad to help the company be appointed for the same project.
Lim is charged with committing the offence near The Gardens Hotel, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City here in March 2011.
The former finance minister is also facing two counts of causing two lots of land owned by the Penang government worth RM208.8mil to be disposed of by the developer linked to the undersea tunnel project.
The offences were allegedly committed at the Penang Land and Mines Office, Komtar on Feb 17, 2015 and March 22, 2017.