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Liong Sik charged over PKFZ case

  • Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik has become the first person holding a Tunship to be charged with a criminal offence. (Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily)

PUTRAJAYA, Thursday 29 July 2010 – Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik has become the first person holding a Tunship to be charged with a criminal offence.

Ling, 67, was charged at a Sessions Court today with cheating related to the scandal-hit Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) project.

Attorney-General Abdul Ghani Pattai headed a high-powered prosecution team comprising DPP Tun Majid Tun Hamzah, DPP Manoj Kurup and DPP Dzulkifli Ahmad in this high-profile case.

Ling, who was the MCA president from 1986 to 2003, is represented by counsel Datuk R.R. Sethu.

He has been charged in connection with irregularities related to the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) project which was mooted during his tenure as Transport Minister. The project was initially estimated to cost less than RM2 billion, but balloned to RM4.6 billion by 2007.

The cost of the the trans-shipment hub has now been projected to swell to as much as RM12.5 billion due to interest costs from deferred payments if it fails to perform.

The charges Ling faces concern land evaluations under the penal code with the principal charge under Section 418 with the alternative charge under Section 417.

Ling pledged not guilty to both charges when they were read out to him.

Section 418 is concerned with “cheating with knowledge that wrongful loss may be thereby caused to a person whose interest the offender is bound to protect” while Section 417 concerns “punishment for cheating.”

The penalty Section 417 carries a jail term of not more than five years, and while Section 418 involves a jail term of not more than seven years.

Attorney General Abdul Ghani then proposed bail at RM1 million, which was not opposed by the defence.

Sessions Court judge Suzana Hussin then set bail at RM1 million and fixed mention for Friday 3 September 2010.

Ling's wife Toh Puan Ena Ling and their two sons were present at the court.

Ling is out on police bail and will post bail tomorrow as it is too late for him to do so today.

The first police report over the matter against Ling, then the Transport Minister, was made in 2004 by the then DAP publicity secretary Ronnie Liu.

Liu, now a state executive councillor in Selangor, subsequetly launched three other police reports and also filed a report with the then Anti-Corruption Agency.

MySinchew 2010-07-29


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