Lim Guan Eng gets temporary passport release to attend uncle’s funeral

KUALA LUMPUR – The Sessions Court here today allowed the temporary release of former Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s (picture) passport to enable him to travel to Singapore to attend his uncle’s funeral.

Judge Azura Alwi allowed the application after hearing the arguments of lawyer Syafiqah Sofian who represented Guan Eng and deputy public prosecutor Farah Yasmin Salleh.

“The court allowed the applicant’s (Guan Eng) application to obtain a passport release, however the applicant must return the passport within five days from March 5,” said the judge.

Earlier, Syafiqah in her argument said her client needed the passport to go to Singapore and he would leave for the country at 4.30 pm tomorrow and would return on Sunday (March 5).

“On March 1, the applicant (Guan Eng) was informed by his family members that his uncle, Lim Kit Hee had passed away. Therefore, my client would like to attend the funeral service of the deceased at Orchid Hall, Singapore, tomorrow to pay his last respect to the deceased .

“My client is not a ‘flight risk’ because his family members live in Malaysia, and he (Guan Eng) is also well-known because of his career as Bagan MP and DAP chairman. Besides, he is also subject to a high bail of RM1 million and has never failed to attend trial proceedings unless he is sick or needs to attend a Parliament session,” she said.

Farah Yasmin did not object to the application, but Guan Eng had to return the passport before the hearing of his case on March 17.

Lim, 62, is currently being tried on an amended charge of using his position as the Chief Minister of Penang to accept a bribe of RM3.3 million in helping a company owned by Zarul Ahmad to obtain a construction project worth RM6,341,383,702 at the Office of the Chief Minister of Penang, Floor 28, Komtar, George Town between January 2011 to August 2017.

For the second amended charge, Lim is accused of asking Zarul Ahmad for a bribe of 10 per cent of the company’s profits, as an appreciation for getting the project and is accused of committing the act near The Garden Hotels, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City here in March 2011.

Lim is also facing two charges for causing two land lots worth RM208.8 million owned by the Penang government to be disposed of to two companies allegedly linked to the undersea tunnel project. – Bernama