Nazri reveals of meeting with Guan Eng, Zarul in a pub at the Shangri La
KUALA LUMPUR: Former Tourism minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz today testified that he was the one who introduced a businessman, who is the key figure in Lim Guan Eng‘s corruption trial, to the former Penang chief minister.
Nazri acknowledged that a meeting involving him, Lim and Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd executive director Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkefli had taken place in a pub at the Shangri La Hotel here in early January 2011 where the introductions were made.
The 67-year old Umno politician also revealed that Zarul had given him RM500,000 but stressed that the money had nothing to do with any project.
Instead, he said the money had been given to him to be donated to religious schools in Pattani, South Thailand.
The Padang Rengas member of parliament had been called to take the stand as the 14th prosecution witness in Lim’s trial.
Reading from a prepared witness statement, Nazri said he had known Zarul, who used to work at Bank Rakyat, since the 1990s.
He said they had become close since then and often exchanged views on various issues, especially on developments in the country.
He said Zarul owned several companies, including Consortium Zenith which was in 2013 granted a massive infrastructure project to build three highways in Penang and an undersea tunnel connecting the island to the mainland.
“I know Zarul well but our relationship had nothing to do with politics or any business.
“I had no business dealing with him,” Nazri said.
Touching on Zarul’s involvement with Lim, Nazri said the businessman had mentioned to him that he wanted to be introduced to an influential person in Penang to undertake a project.
“I later took the initiative to get in touch with Lim and told him there was someone interested in a project in Penang.
“Lim agreed to meet Zarul and we fixed the introductions to be done at the Shangri La Hotel in January 2011. I cannot remember the exact date but we met at a pub in the hotel. The meeting took place about 9pm,” he said.
Nazri said Zarul left after about an hour but he stayed on with Lim until about 11pm.
However, Nazri said he could not remember if Zarul had asked Lim to award any projects to the latter’s company during their time at the pub.
He noted that another meeting between all three of them had taken place at an Italian Restaurant here sometime in March 2011.
Nazri said he had known Lim since the 1990s due to their involvement in politics and they had got to know each other well.
Meanwhile, when cross examined by Lim’s counsel Gobind Singh Deo, Nazri acknowledged that he was the one who introduced Zarul to Lim.
Asked if it was normal for such introductions to happen involving elected representatives, Nazri said there was nothing extraordinary about it.
To another question whether the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) had recorded his statement, he said this had happened but he could not remember where the statement was taken.
Gobind: Did the MACC ask you whether you received any money from Zarul?
Gobind: Has Zarul given you any money?
Nazri: He gave, and asked for it to distributed to religious schools and institutions in Pattani, South Thailand.
Gobind: You received RM500,000…it was not for this case?
Nazri: Not for this case.
Meanwhile, when re-examined by Deputy Public Prosecutor Wan Shahruddin Wan Ladin, Nazri again admitted that Zarul had given him the money but it was to be used for charitable purposes.
Wan Shahruddin: Was it to be used as charity?
Nazri: Yes. I am from Hulu Perak and there are many residents there who are actually descendents of people from Pattani. I have been helping out the religious schools in Pattani for a long time.
Nazri was testifying in Lim’s trial where the DAP secretary general is accused of abusing his position as then Penang chief minister to obtain gratification totalling RM3.3 million.
Lim is accused of taking the money as an inducement for helping Zarul’s company secure the undersea
tunnel project, valued at RM6.3 billion.
He was accused of committing the offence between January 2011 and August 2017 at the chief minister’s office at Komtar in George Town.
Lim is also accused of soliciting bribes amounting to 10 per cent of the profits from Zarul. The offence was allegedly committed near the Gardens Hotel here in March 2011.
Lim also faces two charges of causing two plots of land worth RM208.8 million belonging to the Penang government to be disposed of to two firms linked to the undersea tunnel project.
The trial before Sessions Court Judge Azura Alwi continues.
Ewein Bhd founder’s wife last saw him at 1am before he was found dead, court told
SOURCE: The NST – By Sharanjit Singh – November 29, 2021
KUALA LUMPUR: The wife of the late Ewein Bhd founder and executive chairman Datuk Ewe Swee Kheng said she last saw her husband about 1am before he fell from their condominium at Jalan Kelawei in Penang early morning of Oct 5.
Seet Chin Leng, 55, said her husband had woken up from sleep about 12.30am as he needed to go to the toilet and came back to their bed about 1am.
“He came back to sleep and that was the last time I saw him,” she said when testifying in former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng’s corruption trial.
It was reported that Ewe fell from the penthouse of the Palazzo condominium and was declared dead at 5.37am.
Asked by Deputy Public Prosecutor R Francine whether she knew her husband had been called to give statements to the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) prior to his death, Seet said she was aware of it but did not know the details.
Seet, who was the 13th prosecution witness, also denied any knowledge when he had gone to the MACC for his statements to be recorded as her late husband never discussed it with her.
Meanwhile, MACC officer Mohd Nazri Mansor testified that the graftbusters had recorded Ewe’s statement four times, on July 3, 8 and 9 in 2020 and on Aug 14 this year.
He said Ewe – who was supposed to be one of the prosecution witnesses in Lim’s trial, had co-operated fully with MACC officers and never objected to having his statements recorded.
“He was well treated and even allowed to have his own vegetarian food delivered to him when he was called to the MACC office.
“He did not show any signs of stress whatsoever,” he said.
Lim, 60, is accused of using his position as then Penang chief minister to obtain a bribe of RM3.3 million for helping a company owned by businessman Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkefli to secure the Penang undersea tunnel project worth RM6.34 billion between January 2011 and August 2017.
He is also accused of soliciting bribes amounting to 10 per cent of the profits as gratification for helping Zarul’s company to secure the project.
Lim also faces 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 undersea tunnel project.
The trial before Judge Azura Alwi continues.