‘Kami Geng Najib’ member is first witness in Guan Eng’s graft trial

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng arrives for his trial at the Penang High Court in George Town March 26, 2018. — Bernama pic
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng arrives for his trial at the Penang High Court in George Town March 26, 2018. — Bernama pic

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GEORGE TOWN, March 26 — A Facebook marketer who said he is a member of the “Kami Geng Najib” was the first person to take the witness stand in the corruption trial of Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, which began this morning.

Mohsin Abdul Latiff, 34, told the High Court here that he frequently posts on his social media under the hashtag “#kamigengNajib, but denied that he is “pro-Barisan Nasional” (BN).

“It means I am a supporter of our country’s prime minister,” he said during cross examination by Lim’s lead counsel Gobind Singh Deo.

Gobind had suggested earlier that Mohsin is pro-BN but the latter disagreed.

The lawyer said the fact that Mohsin is part of the “Kami Geng Najib” meant that he is a BN supporter as Datuk Seri Najib Razak is a BN leader.

Gobind then suggested that Mohsin has a political interest in the graft case against Lim as seen in the complaint filed with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in 2016 over the DAP secretary-general’s house purchase on Pinhorn Road.

“It is not true. I lodge the report after watching TV3 broadcast of a debate in Parliament between Shabudin and Lim Guan Eng,” Mohsin said.

The video of Tasek Gelugor MP Datuk Shabudin Yahaya debating the Penang chief minister’s house purchase was then screened in court.

Mohsin verified he had lodged the MACC report based on the video shown.

He said he later received a WhatsApp message about the video too and that he lodged the report on March 18, 2016.

Mohsin could not reply when Gobind pointed out a discrepancy between the details in his MACC report and what was mentioned in the TV3 video clip.

“Your report stated Lim bought the house in 2008 and yet in the video, Shabudin clearly said 2015, so where did you get the information in your report?” He asked.

Mohsin said he made the report two years ago so he could not remember.

Gobind then suggested that Mohsin’s MACC report against Lim was a part of a political conspiracy against the DAP secretary-general which the “Kami Geng Najib” man denied.

Mohsin said he got it from a blog, after Gobind pressed him on the source for the information as contained in the MACC report.

He later admitted that he did not know when the sales and purchase agreement for Lim’s house was signed.

He also admitted that he did not know the land and house value at that time but insisted that he had lodged the report because he believed Lim had bought his house at below market value.

He confirmed that he did not consult any property valuers or experts on the value of Lim’s house.

“So this means you do not know the market value of properties at that time and you do not if the price of Lim’s house was really below market value?” Gobind asked.

Mohsin replied that the purchase price of Lim’s house was unreasonable as he had read on Facebook that the house near Lim’s house along Pinhorn Road was sold a higher price than Lim’s house.

Finally, when Gobind put it to him that his evidence in court was arranged to frame Lim, he denied it.

Gobind asked him repeatedly if he knew the property value of the houses in Pinhorn Road which he finally admitted that he did not know.

Earlier, Mohsin confirmed that he went by the handle “Mamu Parpu” on his social media and that he often participated in protests against the Penang government and Lim.

A total seven witnesses were called in for the session this morning and three more are expected to be called this afternoon.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Masry Mohd Daud told High Court judge Datuk Hadhariah Syed Ismail that the prosecution will be calling a total 54 witnesses to testify in the trial.

Lim, along with businesswoman Phang Li Koon, are accused of corruption over his house purchase deal in 2015.

Lim was charged with using his position as a public officer to obtain gratification for himself and his wife, Betty Chew, by approving an application by Magnificent Emblem to convert agricultural land to residential purpose during a state planning committee meeting on July 18, 2014.

Lim is alleged to have used his position to obtain gratification by purchasing his house from Phang at RM2.8 million, which was below the property’s market value of RM4.27 million on July 28, 2015.

Phang meanwhile was charged under Section 109 of the Penal Code for abetting Lim on July 28 last year in regards to his purchase of the house on Pinhorn Road from her for RM2.8 million which was below the market value or RM4.27 million whereby Lim had allegedly committed an offense under Section 165 of the Penal Code.

The joint trials will last for a week before adjourning until April 9.

The case will then be heard from April 9 to 12, April 23 to 27, May 7 to 10 and May 21 to 25.

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