KUALA LUMPUR: Ewein Zenith Sdn Bhd (EZCB) managing director Datuk Ewe Swee Kheng was unafraid and comfortable when the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) recorded his statement over ex-Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng’s corruption trial, the Sessions Court was told.
Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Asst Supt Mohamad Hambia, 29, said he received instructions from a superior on July 21, 2020, to record a statement from Ewe, then 52.
Two recorded statements were taken from the businessman on July 22 and 24, 2020, at MACC headquarters in Putrajaya.
“The witness was called to MACC headquarters and arrived at 10.30am. I then brought the witness to the recording room,” said ASP Mohamad, who described Ewe confirming the veracity of his previously recorded statements after being given to him to double-check.
“I started recording his new statement at 11am and I asked if he was comfortable and he replied that he was. We continued recording his statement,” he said during the main examination by deputy public prosecutor Francine Cheryl Rajendram at Lim’s corruption trial yesterday, Bernama reported.
At the previous proceedings, the 15th prosecution witness, fellow MACC Asst Supt Muhammad Nazree Mansor informed the court that Ewe voiced concerns over his safety after revealing information regarding the corruption case.
Meanwhile, ASP Mohamad Hambia, the 27th prosecution witness, said after Ewe’s new statement was recorded, he asked Ewe to read through it, write his identity card number and sign the statement to fulfil the conditions under Section 30(8) of the MACC Act.
When asked by Francine whether Ewe was given the chance to amend his statement, Mohamad replied: “Yes, but the witness (Ewe) did not amend it and signed it.”
Ewe, who was supposed to be called as the prosecution’s 15th witness, died after reportedly falling from a condominium unit in Jalan Kelawei, Penang, on Oct 5 last year.
On Dec 16, 2021, the court allowed Ewe’s recorded statements to be admissible and marked as exhibits in the corruption trial of Lim.
Replying to defence counsel Gobind Singh Deo, who is representing Lim, ASP Mohamad Nambia said Ewe in his recorded statement also mentioned that Lim and his family did not purchase any residential unit in City of Dreams development project in Penang.
Lim is facing amended charges of using his position as Penang chief minister to accept bribes of RM3.3mil in return for assisting Consortium Zenith BUCG Sdn Bhd, a company owned by Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli, to secure a construction project worth RM6,341,383,702, at the Penang Chief Minister’s Office, Level 28, Komtar, George Town between January 2011 and August 2017.
On the second amended charge, Lim is accused of soliciting a bribe of 10% of the profit from the company as gratification to secure the project which he allegedly committed near The Gardens Hotel, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City here, in March 2011.
Lim, a former DAP secretary-general, faces another two charges of causing two plots of land worth RM208.8mil belonging to the Penang government, to be disposed of to two companies linked to the state’s undersea tunnel project.
The two offences were allegedly committed at the Penang Land and Mines Office, Level 21, Komtar, on Feb 17, 2015, and March 22, 2017.
The trial before Judge Azura Alwi will continue on June 23.