KUALA LUMPUR: The Sessions Court here was told on Friday (Sept 24) of several WhatsApp messages exchanged between two individuals with supposed links to former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng.
These exchanges ranged from purported meetings with Lim to personal messages.
The messages between businessman G. Gnanaraja and Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd senior executive director Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli, were read out by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) digital forensics officer Wan Mohd Firdaus Wan Yusof, the eighth witness in Lim’s graft trial. The messages were extracted from a phone belonging to Gnanaraja.
“Superb sir. I’ll bring your chocolate. Eastin?” read one message from Gnanaraja to Zarul Ahmad on Aug 18, 2017.
“Aiyoo sir, PM went to whack my tunnel project n this Tony Pua whack him back (sic)," read another.
“PM is giving Rahman Dahlan excuse to continue attacking,” Zarul Ahmad was said to have messaged Gnanaraja, with a news article on the Penang undersea tunnel project attached.
(Referring to then urban wellbeing, local government and housing minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan.)
In another message on Aug 20, 2017, Zarul Ahmad reportedly sent to Gnanaraja: “CM called me and he look (sic) for the soonest time to come over to your house.”
Gnanaraja's wife K. Geethanjali had testified in the same case previously that Lim and Zarul Ahmad paid a visit to her house in the early hours of the morning sometime in August 2017.
In another exchange of messages on Aug 28 that year, Zarul Ahmad first sent: “Sir I’m waiting for him near Tropicana area. HIs function is still on.”
Close to midnight, Zarul Ahmad then sent: “Sir he just texted me. He says one more hour. Are you ok with it sir.”
On Aug 29, at 12.52am, Zarul Ahmad messaged Gnanaraja: “We are OTW sir.”
Gnanaraja then told Zarul Ahmad to take pictures of him talking to Lim.
Zarul Ahmad then sent several pictures to Gnanaraja at 3.15am, the court heard.
Under cross-examination by defence lawyer Gobind Singh Deo, Firdaus read out other messages between Zarul Ahmad and Gnanaraja.
“I love you Dato. You are constantly on my mind. I’ll finish anyone who disturbs you Dato,” Zarul Ahmad wrote.
Gnanaraja then replied: “I’m so grateful sir. I’ll make you a star that shines bright in the cabinet.”
In another message, Zarul Ahmad told Gnanaraja: “Ada one important news. Tomorrow I’ll talk to you in the morning Dato. I love you my dearest Dato,” with Gnanaraja replying: “Ok sure sir. Love you too sir.”
The trial continues on Nov 1.
Guan Eng, 60, is facing four corruption charges involving the construction of an undersea tunnel and paired roads project in Penang.
For the first amended charge, the Bagan MP is charged with using his position as then Penang chief minister to corruptly receive RM3.3mil to help Zarul Ahmad's company secure the project in Penang worth RM6,341,383,702.
The offence was allegedly committed between January 2011 and August 2017 at the Penang Chief Minister's office.
For the second amended charge, Guan Eng is charged with soliciting 10% of profits from Zarul Ahmad to help the company be appointed for the same project.
Guan Eng was charged with committing the offence near The Gardens Hotel, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City here in March 2011, between 12.30am and 2am.
The former finance minister was also charged with two counts of causing two lots of land owned by the Penang state government worth RM208.8mil to be disposed of by the developer linked to the undersea tunnel project.
The offences were allegedly committed at the Penang Land and Mines Office in Komtar on Feb 17, 2015 and March 22, 2017.