GEORGE TOWN: The magistrate's court here today granted a five-day remand order against state Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh to facilitate probe into an illegal factory.

The remand order, which will end on Wednesday, was issued by senior deputy registrar Ameera Mastura Khamis.

The remand order is to facilitate the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigations under Section 23 of the MACC Act 2009 for abuse of power for gratification.

Speaking to reporters outside the Court room, Phee's lawyer, R.S.N. Rayer, said they would file an application at the High Court to challenge the five-day remand order granted against their client.

They will also challenge it, as the MACC had also submitted in court under Section 28A of the MACC Act, which prevented them from meeting their client.

"However, the senior deputy registrar decided on the matter, and granted a five-day remand order against our client.

"This is an issue which we have not yet argued.

"As such, we will send an application to the High Court to challenge the five-day remand order granted against my client," he said.

MACC Deputy Public Prosecutor Ahmad Ghazali Muhamad Nadzri, who prosecuted, said they have the right to prevent Phee from meeting his lawyers.

On Thursday, the MACC and several other government agencies raided the illegal carbon filter factory in Sungai Lembu, Bukit Mertajam.

The raid was prompted by inaction by local authorities despite countless of complaints lodged.

Besides the factory, also raided were the factory's office and the Seberang Prai Municipal Council's Licensing Department office, both in Banda Press, Bukit Mertajam.

Ameera also granted the factory's 70-year-old manager and his 37-year-old son, the factory's director, the same five-day remand order.

Besides Rayer, Phee was also represented by Ramkarpal Singh, while Dev Kumaraendran appeared for both the father and son.

Earlier, Phee, along with the father and son, arrived at the courthouse here about 10.10am. They arrived in three separate vehicles.

All came in orange MACC lock-up T-shirt and handcuffed separately.

Phee was the first to be led in followed by the son and father.

Phee, a senior DAP lawmaker in the state, was arrested yesterday afternoon while having his statement recorded by the MACC officers at the state MACC office here.

Earlier in the morning, yesterday, five MACC officers had raided Phee's office in Komtar. They left more than an hour later with a bag of documents.

Sources said the documents were linked to the operations of the illegal carbon filter factory.

The MACC officers also went to Phee's house in Butterworth.

The father and son were detained later in the evening, also at the state MACC office here.

Present to lend support to Phee were state DAP and PKR leaders, along with their supporters.

Also present was Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

Phee's wife, Ooi Suat Cheng, arrived when he was inside the courtroom.

They cheered "Sokong Boon Poh" (Support Boon Poh) and "MACC Jangan Buli" (MACC don't be a bully).

They also held banners which read "Solidariti Bersama Phee Boon Poh" (Solidarity with Phee Boon Poh).

506 reads
Penang state Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh has been remanded for five-day to facilitate probe into an illegal carbon filter factory in Sungai Lembu, Bukit Mertajam. Pic by RAMDZAN MASIAM.