Developer tells court he gave over RM3 million in bribes to Lim Guan Eng.
KUALA LUMPUR – June 24: A key witness in Lim Guan Eng‘s corruption trial today revealed he paid RM3.3 million in bribes to the former Penang chief minister to secure the RM6.34 billion Penang undersea tunnel project.
Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd director Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli said he gave Lim RM2 million in cash through a middleman known as Gnanaraja.
Zarul said he paid the money in stages from August 2013 after his company was awarded the three paired roads and undersea tunnel project by the Penang government.
Zarul said a middleman was used as he was under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)’s radar at that time.
“Lim once told me to use an intermediary as he was worried that I may be monitored by the anti-graft body. I told Lim that I wanted to use Gnanaraja as a middleman as he was close to the then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
“I knew him (Gnanaraja) from my best friend Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz,” he said in his witness statement today.
The 62-year-old businessman said he wanted to use Gnanaraja because the latter was an acquaintance of Najib.
“I also wanted to strengthen my relationship with the prime minister as well as to ensure no further disruption from the Barisan Nasional-led government in my project,” he said.
On the delivery of RM2 million to Lim, Zarul said he contacted Gnanaraja and told him that he wanted to give some “chocolates” to “big boss” on Aug 17, 2017.
“I gave RM2 million cash to Gnanaraja in two separate sports bags near the Eastin Hotel and put the money in Gnanaraja’s Bentley,” he said, adding that Gnanaraja gave the money to Lim on two separate occasions.
He said apart from the RM2 million cash, he also paid Lim a total RM300,000 in three stages and RM500,000 twice as part of the 10 per cent cut from the profit of the project.
Zarul was testifying in Lim’s corruption trial involving the Penang undersea tunnel project. Lim is alleged to have sought 10 per cent of the profit to be made by the company from its owner, Zarul.
Lim is also accused of receiving RM3.3 million for himself and causing two plots of land belonging to the state government to be disposed to two companies linked to the tunnel project.
The trial before Sessions Court Judge Azura Alwi continues on Monday.
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