Mahathir and his 2002 Cabinet Crew: Collective Responsibility for PKFZ

July 30, 2003

Dr Mahathir and his 2002 Cabinet Crew should testify in Court: It is about Collective Responsibility for PKFZ

DAP’s veteran leader Lim Kit Siang asked if former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad or any of his ministers from the 2002 Cabinet would testify in court when it hears the case against former  Transport  Minister and MCA President Dr Ling Liong Sik?

Ling was accused of misleading the government into approving Port Klang Authority’s purchase of the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) land with 15-year repayment with compound interest instead of 10 years.

“Who were the ministers in the 2002 Cabinet. The deputy prime minister was Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Other ministers who are still ministers include Najib Tun Razak, Muhyiddin Yassin, Hishammuddin Hussein, Nazri Abdul Aziz, Rais Yatim and Bernard Dompok.

“Other ministers then who are no longer in the cabinet include Rafidah Aziz, Azmi Khalid; three MCA ministers at the time, Chua Jui Meng, Fong Chan Onn, Ong Ka Ting, Lim Keng Yaik, S. Samy Vellu and Law Hieng Ding,” said Lim in a statement.

Still waiting for AG to act

The Ipoh Timor MP noted that as far back as three years ago in Parliament, during the budget debate in September 2007, he had focused on the main issues of the PKFZ scandal:

1. PKA’s purchase of 1,000 acres of Pulau Indah land from Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd for PKFZ at RM25 psf when the Treasury and Attorney-General’s Chambers proposed acquisition under the Land Acquisition Act at RM10 psf.

2. The ballooning of the PKFZ cost from RM1.1 billion to RM4.6 billion and its development costs from RM400 million to RM2.8 billion.

3. The four illegal “letters of support” by then transport ministers Ling and (former MCA deputy president) Chan Kong Choy for the RM4.6 billion bonds issued by KDSB through special purpose vehicles.

“These issues have not been adequately dealt with despite the promise by Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail last December and the country is still waiting for him to fulfill his pledge to leave no stone unturned to haul in the “big fish” implicated in the PKFZ scandal,” said Lim.

Yesterday, Ling was charged at the Sessions Court under Sections 417 and 418 of the Penal Code for cheating and could face a jail term if found guilty.

The 67-year-old medical doctor-turned-politician, who was bestowed with a Tun – the highest honorific title in the country – after his retirement in 2003, had pleaded not guilty.

The case, dubbed as the most high-profile corruption case in Malaysian history, would be mentioned in September. Ling, a long-time minister and MCA’s sixth president, was known to be close to Mahathir during his tenure in government.

The charge against Ling reads:

“That you, between Sept 25 and Nov 6, 2002, at Level 4 of the Prime Minister’s Office in Bangunan Perdana Putra, cheated the Government by deceiving the Cabinet into approving a land purchase in Pulau Indah for a Mega Distribution Hub project in Port Klang according to the terms agreed between Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd and Port Klang Authority which, among others, are:

1. The size of the land being 999.5 acres or 43,538,200 sq ft

2. The purchase price for the land being RM25 per sq ft amounting to a total of RM1,088,456,000

3. The repayment period being based on a “deferred payment” of 15 years with an interest rate of 7.5% per annum (total RM720,014,600), and thereby dishonestly hiding the fact that the valuation by the Valuation and Property Service Department on the land was RM25 per sq ft for a repayment period of 10 years or RM25.82 per sq ft for a repayment period of 15 years, including coupon/interest that could be charged for the repayment period.

And as such, you purposely induced the Cabinet to give its consent to the purchase, whereas the Cabinet would not have given its consent if the fact had been told to the Cabinet, and the fraud was committed with the knowledge that you could cause a loss to the Government, where you have an interest in the transaction pertaining to the fraud and you are bound under the law to protect it and, as such, you have committed an offence punishable under Section 418 of the Penal Code.”

10 thoughts on “Mahathir and his 2002 Cabinet Crew: Collective Responsibility for PKFZ

  1. “You have purposely induced the Cabinet to give its consent to the purchase, whereas the Cabinet would not have given its consent if the fact had been told to the Cabinet, and the fraud was committed with the knowledge that you could cause a loss to the Malaysian government, where you have an interest in the transaction pertaining to the fraud.”

    Inducing the Cabinet to give its consent when otherwise it would not have consented. The inducement has to be deliberate and the purpose being to cheat.

    You guys think it’s easy to prove that? Think again.

    First, it has to be shown that the accused had set out to deceive the Cabinet. Not easy to prove. Further, that would not be enough. If it could be shown that the Cabinet would have agreed to the purchase in any case, that there is no nexus between his act of deceiving and the fact that the Cabinet had been deceived then the charge could not stand.

    Mr Bean – July 30, 2010 at 11:02 am

  2. I don’t believe the government is serious about this prosecution of one of their own. Simply because they would need to line up a coterie of ‘distinguished witnesses’ to give their testimonies in open court where they would be examined and cross-examined including sitting Ministers. Furthermore what good does it do to call witnesses when their lips are sealed by the Official Secrets Act? In addition they could always depend on the common law right against self-incrimination.

    I believe it is staged and the preliminary hearing scripted. The accused knows too much and they cannot afford to let him spill the beans on them.

    Ling, like Eric Chia, would go free because of the lack of evidence.

  3. This case is going to cost millions to the taxpayers, money which would be better used to help the country’s underprivileged, the poor and the needy in terms of food and clothing and such basic amenities like housing, education etc.

  4. Yes Bean,

    Unless and until the whole ‘coterie’ of extinguishable bunch of rotten nangkas are fully investigated by an impartial, incorruptible and transparent panel of auditors (yes, again), judges and other ‘technical’ experts – with or without ‘Royal’ consent, don’t waste our time and money. This scenario will be impossible under the circumstances, after all the millions will disappear anyway..

  5. All over the world, Mongkut Bean. You and I could be speculating on carabao meat futures, and causing havoc on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. I would donate a few specially bred carabaos to Mahathir so that he can silently ride into the sunset in his homestead at Titi Gajah, Alor Setaq.–Din Merican

  6. Din

    One of the most obvious thing about this co called prosecution is that it is misconceived in law. I am not a lawyer but ask any qualified person and he will tell so. Why? The Cabinet papers are normally prepared by the Secretary General and his staff in consultation with the Minister. Since this particular project was new, it needed the consent of the MOF and this was in the valuation report provided which stated explicitly that the value of the land after development would be RM25 psf! The real current value then was RM10 psf! How can the Cabinet misdirect itself to think the value to be bought was RM25 psf? The recent postings by RPK of the more recent Cabinet papers on the restropective approvals

  7. of cost over-runs are clear evidence that the charges against Tun Dr Ling wont hold water. The whole Cabinet must must be held accountable and responsible for this fiasco. Both the Cabinets of Mahathir and Badawi!

    So how can they charge Tun Ling alone?

  8. The Malaysian lawmakers always go for safety in numbers. No Minister will dare make a decision. It’s always a Cabinet decision. If anything go wrong it’s the Cabinet and you can’t fault the whole Cabinet.
    Most large projects especially like the PKFZ requires the MoF to make the final decision. I wonder who was the Minister of Finance then. He should be called to answer besides Ling Liong Sick.

  9. Never fully trust malaysian law system.It is mostly just to show to rakyat that najib is committed to justice.After all,so many things finally end up in cold storage.As an example,Linggam vidoe case,after suruhanjaya,finally keep under rotten carpet.
    Only sodomy case,najib and mahathir go all out even tough some actions looked funny and out of civilised mind.It is because of hatred by UMNO to destroy advancement of well progress of malaysian sociaty.UMNO is happy especially old folks and kampong people depended on umno.They beleive rezeki comes fr UMNO.

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