PHEE’S HOMES SEARCHED
MACC officers also take him to his two houses to gather documents
THE MACC probe into the factory that has caused much grief to villagers in Sungai Lembu is stepped up with thorough checks at the service centre and homes of the detained Penang Environment Committee chairman. The graft-busters will also call up the Penang chief minister and Penanti assemblyman to get their statements.
THE Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) ramped up its probe into the illegal carbon filter factory case, as it searched the service centre and two houses of Penang Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh yesterday.
The Sungai Puyu assemblyman was escorted by MACC officers to his service centre in Jalan Ong Yi How here at noon.
Clad in an orange MACC lockup T-shirt, he was seen being escorted into his service centre and was later taken to his two houses in Taman Dahlia and Sungai Puyu here.
The officers spent about an hour carrying out searches in each of the premises and were seen leaving with bags of documents.
Phee’s office on Level 53, Komtar here, was also searched by MACC officers on Friday.
This followed MACC’s raid at the illegal factory in Sungai Lembu on Thursday following complaints from villagers.
In widening its probe into the case, MACC will focus on two letters written by Phee in 2015 and last year that no action needed to be taken against the illegal factory.
The letters directed the Seberang Perai Municipal Council not to shut down the carbon filter processing factory.
MACC deputy chief commissioner (Operations) Datuk Azam Baki said they would call up Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and Penanti assemblyman Dr Norlela Ariffin to get their statements as part of the probe.
He said it was standard operating procedure to record statements from all parties to ensure a thorough and complete investigation.
Azam said statements from Lim and Norlela were needed as they had released statements with regard to the operations of the illegal factory.
“They (Lim and Norlela) will be called as soon as possible.
“At the same time, MACC is looking into other aspects as well.
“So far, we have recorded statements from several witnesses and the three suspects, including Phee.”
Also nabbed as part of the probe were the factory’s manager Gan Buck Hee, 70, as well as his son and factory director, Edmund Gan Eu Leong, 37.
Yesterday, the Alor Star High Court rejected applications of Phee, as well as the father and son duo, to be released from a fiveday remand order.
On Saturday, the magistrate’s court here granted a five-day remand order against Phee and the father and son to facilitate a probe into the case.
Meanwhile, the People’s Alternative Party (PAP) has urged the state government and local councils to come clean and reveal all illegal factories operating in Penang.
Its secretary, Rahmad Isahak, claimed that he had received information from his sources that there were more than 200 illegal factories on private and government land in Penang, with a majority of them situated on the mainland.
“This is the figure I have with me, but there could be more,” he said.
“The exact figures are with the respective local governments.
“We are giving them two weeks (to comply, failing which), we will forward our information to MACC) for them to take action.”
Rahmad called for the state government and local councils to specify when each illegal factory began operating.
He was responding to a statement by Lim, who said that no action would be taken against buildings, hawkers stalls and temples built and set up illegally before 2008 unless they were affecting traffic and the people living around them.
He said this was until the state government found an amicable solution to ensure a win-win situation for all.
“His statement is totally irresponsible. (Putting action) on hold… without a specific time frame.
“So, the list should specify how many of the illegal factories were set up before 2008 and after that.
“Do not wait until the MACC conducts another raid,” Rahmad said.
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission officers escorting Penang Environment Committee chairman and Sungai Puyu assemblyman Phee Boon Poh (centre) to his service centre in Butterworth to seize documents kept there yesterday.