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.”