Guan Eng: Arrested exco to clarify illegal factory issue next week

By Opalyn Mok
File picture of Penang state executive councillor Phee Boon Poh (centre, in orange t-shirt) leaving the court in George Town August 14, 2016. — Picture by KE Ooi

GEORGE TOWN, Aug 16 — Penang executive councillor Phee Boon Poh will explain all details of the illegal factory controversy in Sungai Lembu, Bukit Mertajam next week, said Lim Guan Eng.

The Penang chief minister said the welfare, caring society and environment committee chairman took medical leave after his release from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) remand two days ago.

“The state executive council has approved his special application for medical leave until August 21 to recover from the three-day illegal remand by the MACC,” Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who chaired the state exco said today.

Lim also noted that the illegal factory was located about one kilometre from residential areas, which is above the buffer zone requirement of 500 metre for heavy industries.

He said the state exco reaffirmed its view that Phee was not involved in any corruption in the matter, either through bribery or affiliation to the factory owners.

Phee will fully cooperate with the MACC in its investigation while all other state excos are ready to give their statements if needed, Lim added.

“Phee was only performing his responsibility as a state exco by implementing the state’s policy,” he said.

Phee, the factory’s manager, and a director were arrested by MACC to assist investigations into the illegal factory last Friday. Phee was subsequently remanded five days.

The Penang High Court set aside the remand order on Monday and Phee was released, but the MACC said it will appeal the ruling.

The MACC together with the Department of Environment (DOE) raided the illegal carbon filter factory in Sungai Lembu last week following complaints from residents.

The factory was subsequently closed down by the DOE while MACC investigations are ongoing.