Witness: Two plots of land in Tanjong Pinang valued at RM300mil

KUALA LUMPUR: A real estate valuation company director told the Sessions Court here on Wednesday (Aug 10) that two plots of land in Bandar Tanjong Pinang, Penang, which were transferred to two companies, Ewein Zenith Sdn Bhd and Consortium Zenith BUCG Sdn Bhd by the state government were valued at RM300mil.

GE Tan Valuers Sdn Bhd (GETVSB) director Tan Gaik Eng, 71, said his company received a call from Ewein Land Sdn Bhd (ELSB), which asked for the valuation of the land located at Lot 702 in the northeast district, Penang around June 2013.

Ewein Land is the subsidiary of Ewein Bhd, which is owned by property developer, the late Datuk Ewe Swee Kheng.

Ewe who should be called as the 15th witness had died after reportedly falling from a luxury condominium unit in Jalan Kelawei, Penang on Oct 5, 2021.

The 30th prosecution witness said he had received a report from the George Town Valuation and Property Services Department as a guide for his company to conduct the valuation on the two plots of land apart from streamlining the prices in terms of location, form and size of the land as well as the plan on the land itself.

"I had prepared a valuation report for ELSB and stated Lot 702 was valued at RM135mil on Dec 2013 based on the justifications stated.

"On June 2015, my company was again contacted by ELSB to value Lot 713 and we used the same valuation method before issuing a report for the plot with a price of RM165mil in 2016,” he said when reading out his witness statement at the trial of former Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng who is facing four charges over the main road construction and undersea tunnel projects in the state.

Based on two charges against him, Lim was accused of causing the two lots of land owned by the Penang government to be disposed to two companies said to be linked to the undersea tunnel project.

During cross-examination by counsel Gobind Singh Deo who is representing Lim, the witness said he did not know the two plots of land were earlier valued at RM80mil by two George Town JPPH officers.

Earlier deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib told Judge Azura Alwi that the prosecution’s main witness Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (CZCSB) director, Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli was not present in court for cross-examination today as he was on medical leave for four days from yesterday to Aug 12.

Lim, 61, is facing an amended charge of using his position as then Penang Chief Minister to solicit RM3.3mil in bribes as an inducement to assist Consortium Zenith BUCG Sdn Bhd (CZBUCG) owner Zarul to secure the project worth RM6,341,383,702.

Lim allegedly committed the offence at the Penang Chief Minister’s Office, Level 28, Komtar, George Town, between January 2011 and August 2017.

In 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.

The offence was allegedly committed near The Gardens Hotel, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City here in March 2011.

Lim, a former DAP secretary-general, is facing 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, allegedly at the Penang Land and Mines office, at Level 21, Komtar on Feb 17, 2015, and March 22, 2017.

The trial will continue on Nov 23. - Bernama

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