KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia on Friday charged former finance minister and senior opposition leader Lim Guan Eng with soliciting a bribe on a $1.5 billion infrastructure project, state news agency Bernama reported.
The charges against Lim, who was minister in the Mahathir Mohamad-led coalition that collapsed in February, comes amid speculation that elections could be imminent due to Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin's slim majority in parliament.
Lim was charged at a Kuala Lumpur sessions court for seeking a bribe to appoint a company to manage the $1.5 billion undersea tunnel project in Penang state, which he led as chief minister from 2008 until his appointment as finance minister in 2018.
Lim, arrested on Thursday night, pleaded not guilty to the charge. Lim and his lawyers could not be immediately contacted.
If found guilty, Lim faces a jail term of up to 20 years and heavy fines.
Anti-graft officials have said he will face two more charges next week.
(Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Michael Perry)