PENANG, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia’s former finance minister pleaded not guilty Monday to a second corruption charge related to a $1.5 billion undersea tunnel project and slammed the case as a trumped-up charge by the new government.
Lim Guan Eng, 59, was first charged Friday with soliciting 10% of potential profits in 2011 as a bribe for the project planned in northern Penang state. On Monday, he was accused of abusing his power as Penang chief minister to obtain 3.3 million ringgit ($786,182) as inducement to help a local company secure the construction contract.
The project was approved during Lim’s tenure as Penang chief minister from 2008-2018, before he became Malaysia’s finance minister.
Lim, who was part of a reformist government ousted in March, said anti-graft officials had never questioned him on the 3.3 million ringgit he allegedly received nor was there any evidence he had the money. He also