GEORGE TOWN: State executive councillor Phee Boon Poh walked free after his remand order was set aside, but the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission plans to appeal the decision.
The High Court here set aside the remand order for Phee and a father-and-son duo yesterday.
The MACC said in a statement that it respected the decision.
“However, the MACC is not satisfied with the decision by Judicial Commissioner Datuk Abdul Wahab Mohamed, who rescinded the remand order issued by a magistrate’s court, and will be submitting an appeal to the Court of Appeal.
“The MACC takes this matter seriously because the decision has also affected the investigation process,” it said.
Phee had been remanded for five days since Saturday, together with factory director Edmund Gan Eu Leong, 37, and his father Gan Buck Hee, 70, the factory manager.
They were nabbed by the graft-busters on Friday over a probe into an illegal carbon filter-processing factory in Kampung Sungai Lembu, Bukit Mertajam.
Earlier, Abdul Wahab ruled that the remand order on Saturday contravened Section 117 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).
He added that the three were denied natural justice as they were not allowed to consult their lawyers during the remand proceedings.
After being freed, Phee, accompanied by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, was ushered to the late Karpal Singh’s law firm in Green Hall.
After changing out of the orange MACC outfit there, he stepped outside in a white shirt, accompanied by DAP leaders and his family members, before speaking to the press.
Phee told the media he would stand firm because he was innocent and continue to serve Penang.
“I thank my lawyers and supporters, including my family,” he said.
Phee’s lawyer Ramkarpal Singh said there was no indication of a rearrest.
“In fact, the investigating officer just told us they are not going to.
“As far as we are concerned, Phee is a free man and there is nothing to restrict his freedom.
“The remand order given on Saturday was set aside because it was irregular.”
R.S.N. Rayer, who also represented Phee, said his client was unwell and had to go to hospital.
Lawyers Dev Kumaraendran and S.K. Teh, for Edmund and Buck Hee, said Section 117 of the CPC stated that every suspect remanded had a right to be heard personally through counsel during the remand procedure.
“However, this time they were not accorded such a fundamental right,” Dev said outside the court, adding that his clients were free to go but would return to the MACC for some paperwork.
At an earlier press conference at the court complex, Lim said the MACC had not informed him if he would be called up to give a statement over the illegal factory.
MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Azam Baki had said Lim and Penanti assemblywoman Dr Norlela Ariffin were expected to be called up for their statements.
Lim replied that he would cooperate.
He added that the issue would come up for discussion at tomorrow’s exco meeting.
“It has been state policy not to tear down structures indiscriminately unless it affects traffic flow or becomes a public disturbance.
“I will suggest that the policy is continued.
“If it is not allowed, we will have to take down all the illegal hawkers’ buildings and structures.
“At that time, do not blame the state government. It would involve tens of thousands,” he said, referring to Phee’s letters to the local council.
The MACC was represented by deputy public prosecutors Ahmad Ghazali Muhamad Nadzri and Tengku Amir Zaki Tengku Abdul Rahman.