Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will call up Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and Penanti assemblyman Dr Norlela Ariffin to facilitate investigations into the Sungai Lembu’s illegal factory case.
GEORGE TOWN: Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and Penanti assemblyman Dr Norlela Ariffin are expected to be called up by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to give statements over the illegal factory in Kampung Sungai Lembu, Bukit Mertajam.
MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Azam Baki confirmed that both would have their statements recorded at a suitable time.
“This is a normal procedure to call up them up as they have talked about the matter publicly.
“Their statements are needed to complete the investigations,” he said.
Sunday Star reported that the MACC is investigating two letters, which appear to have originated from state executive Councillor Phee Boon Poh, asking that no action be taken against an illegal factory.
The letters, written in 2015 and 2016, directed the Seberang Prai Municipal Council (MPSP) from shutting down the carbon filter-processing factory which has been operating illegally for the past 10 years.
Phee was remanded five days since Saturday together with factory director Edmund Gan Eu Leong, 37, and his father Gan Buck Hee, 70, who is the factory manager.
It is understood that a third MPSP officer has also been summoned to give his statement.
On Friday, two officers from the Enforcement Department and the Licensing Department were also called up.
“They were not arrested,” Azam said.
He added that the MACC also conducted several raids and seized documents from Phee’s office at Komtar and his house in Sungai Puyu.
Yesterday, MACC officers spent more than an hour at his service centre in Jalan Ong Yi How in Butterworth. With them was Phee.
It was learnt that the MACC also raided two of his houses in Butterworth yesterday.
In Alor Setar, an attempt by lawyers representing Phee and two others to quash their remand order was rejected by the High Court.
Judge Hashim Hamzah told Ramkarpal Singh, R.S.N Rayer and Dev Kumaraendran that their application should have been filed at the Penang High Court as it was the “suitable forum” for the matter.
Ramkarpal said they would file an application at Penang High Court today.
The MACC and several enforcement agencies first raided the factory on Thursday following complaints from villagers that its fumes could affect their health.
Meanwhile, MCA religious harmony bureau chairman Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker criticised DAP for “bullying and blaming” Dr Norlela for her request to the authorities to take action against the factory.
He said DAP cannot play the victim card now because Malaysians are beginning to see the party’s hypocrisy when it comes to corruption issues.
“DAP should allow the MACC to do its work without any hindrance and own up when their leaders are embroiled in corruption,” Ti said in a statement.
Transparency International Malaysia president Datuk Akhbar Satar said MACC should be allowed to investigate the case professionally and fairly without fear or favour.
“Let the due process take its course and let us wait for the outcome of the investigations,” he said.
Source: The Star by Crystal Chiam Shiying and Lo Tern Chern
Norlela did the right thing – She’s merely fulfilling her duty to constituents, says state Gerakan Chief
Geroge Town – State Gerakan chairman Teng Chang Yeow has defended Penanti’s PKR assemblyman Dr Norlela Ariffin, who has been voicing out concerns on the illegal factory operation in Kampung Sungai Lembu.
“What we are concerned about is that the matter had been dragged on for so long.
“Her complaints fell on deaf ears for so long, so you can’t penalized her.
“She has raised it many times, in the state assembly, to the authorities and Village Security and Development Committee, but there was no action,” he told a press conference after attending the State Delegates’ Conference 2017 at the state Gerakan Heeadquaters in Macalister Road yesterday.
It was reported that Dr. Norlela denied that she was responsible for the action being taken against an illegal carbon filter processing factory in Kampung Sungai Lembu.
She refuted the accusations in a Facebook post on Saturday, saying that she had highlighted complaints from her constituents.
Dr. Norlela said she was disappointed that she was blamed for the arrest of state exco member Phee Boon Poh.
Commenting on several past actions against Dr. Norlela, including having a state allocation to her constituency withheld pending her written explanation for not attending the Yang di-Pertua Negri’s swearing-in ceremony in May, Teng said Gerakan may have differences with other Barisan National component parties, but it never penalized them.
He said that when Gerakan led the government, he had faced criticisms from MCA representatives but no action was taken against them.
Gerakan president Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong opened the event. – The Star
Gerakan defends PKR’s Norlela over Penang illegal factory issue
GEORGE TOWN: Penanti assemblyman Dr Norlela Ariffin should not be penalised for speaking up on the illegal factory in Kampung Sungai Lembu, said state Gerakan chairman Teng Chang Yeow today.
“Being the state assemblyman of the constituency, she had every right to raise questions about the illegal factory.
“She was merely performing her duty,” he said during a press conference here, today.
He was responding to Norlela’s claim that she was treated like a criminal after expressing her gratitude to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for taking action against the illegal factory.
“Thank you to the MACC for solving the issues which have been plaguing the villagers there. We have been doing our best to help the villagers,” she had said in a Facebook posting recently.
She had said that in May this year, she received an 18-page petition, signed by 180 villagers, objecting against the illegal carbon filter factory.
“I raised several questions at the state legislative assembly sitting the same month. The state environment committee chairman had said the factory was burning 2,000 tonnes of sawdust monthly to be turned into activated carbon for water filters,” she had said.
On Thursday, MACC and other agencies raided the factory in Bukit Mertajam after numerous complaints to the authorities fell on deaf ears.
This was followed by further raids at the Seberang Perai Municipal Council licensing department offices and state Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh’s office, service centre and houses.
Phee is being remanded for five days pending investigations into an illegal factory in Kampung Sungai Lembu in Bukit Mertajam.
He was detained after he went to MACC’s office to have his statement recorded on Friday.
Yesterday, Norlela revealed that she had been treated like a criminal since Phee’s arrest.
Source: NST By BALVIN KAUR
MACC gets more statements in illegal factory case
BUKIT MERTAJAM: No one has yet to be charged over the illegal carbon filter processing factory in Sungai Lembu as graft-busters are still investigating the case and gathering evidence.
Three Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers showed up at the village yesterday and were seen talking to several residents there for about an hour in a coffeeshop.
Sungai Lembu Village Development and Security Committee (JKKK) chairman Tan Sing Lee and some businessmen staying and running businesses near the factory were later summoned to the MACC office in Butterworth to give statements.
“Initially, they wanted to record our statements at the coffeeshop but on seeing the press, they told us to go to their office instead,” Tan said.
Tan arrived at the MACC office with JKKK secretary Yeo Keng Chuan at about 1.30pm and left about 45 minutes later.
A spokesman for the MACC said it had recorded statements from several people, and that no arrest was made.
“We are still investigating,” he said.
Penang state executive councillor Phee Boon Poh, together with factory director Edmund Gan Eu Lee, 37, and his father Gan Buck Hee, 70, were arrested by the MACC on Aug 11.
But all walked free last Monday after their remand orders were set aside by the High Court.
The spokesman said the MACC would be appealing the court decision.
Meanwhile, Gerakan took Penang PKR assemblymen to task for not defending Penanti assemblyman Dr Norlela Ariffin against the barrage of attacks that came after she exposed the illegal factory.
“Why haven’t the men in PKR come to her aid? Are they so afraid of being victimised by DAP?” said state Gerakan vice-chairman Oh Tong Keong.
“What is also baffling is that the incident happened in the PKR fortress of Permatang Pauh,” he told a press conference.
He claimed that what happened to Dr Norlela was nothing new because Tanjung Bungah DAP assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu was also sidelined for speaking the truth.
Meanwhile in Kota Kinabalu, MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Azam Baki said no investigation paper has been opened in the acquisition of the Grand Borneo Hotel by Felda Investment Corporation (FIC), purportedly at a higher market price.
He said it was still premature to suspect any wrongdoings in the purchase of the three-star hotel (in Kota Kinabalu).
“We are not moving in as yet. Our focus is still on the ongoing probe on FIC’s purchases of the two hotels in London and Kuching.
“Besides, there is still a need to compare the valuation reports during the time of purchase and the actual value of the Kota Kinabalu hotel,” he said when contacted.
Azam was asked to comment on a report suggesting that the MACC was to conduct a probe on a third hotel managed by FIC.
The Grand Borneo was said to have been acquired by Felda for RM86.4mil in 2012.
Azam said there were no plans to send MACC officers to Sabah.
Sabah MACC director Datuk Sazali Salbi also said that his state officers were not involved in any probe over the matter.
It is learnt the MACC would focus on completing the ongoing probe first as the remand order for Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad ends tomorrow.
On Tuesday, the former Felda chairman was arrested by the MACC after he was called in to give his statements over FIC’s purchase of hotels in London and Kuching.
The MACC is investigating suspicion of power abuse and corruption in the purchases of the two hotels.
So far, anti-graft officers have visited Mohd Isa’s houses in Selangor, Nilai, Linggi and Seremban, as well as his office at the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) headquarters. Mohd Isa is acting SPAD chairman.
It was reported that cash amounting to RM100,000 was seized from a safe in one of his houses. – The Star.
MACC gets more statements in illegal factory case: Read on the original site
The Penang government will not protect any of its officials … Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng says he believes state exco man Phee Boon … Phee, who is in charge of the welfare, caring society and environment portfolio, was arrested yesterday by the MACC over alleged misuse of power.
PKR rep Norlela blamed for Phee’s arrest