29 July, 2010

Former transport minister Ling Liong Sik charged over his involvement in the PKFZ scandal.

Former transport minister and MCA president Ling Liong Sik, is by far the most prominent politician to be nabbed in recent years.

He is charged under Section 418 of the Penal Code with misleading the cabinet between Sept 25 and Nov 6, 2002, into agreeing to purchase 999.5 acres of land on Pulau Indah for a project, now known as PKFZ, at a price of RM25psf on a deferred payment basis for a 15-year period, at a 7.5 percent interest rate.

The cumulative interest paid would total RM720 million at the end of the repayment period.

He was also offered an alternative charge, under Section 417 of the Penal Code, for the same offence.

According to the charge sheet, the Finance Ministry had already valued the land at RM25psf - inclusive of compounded interest - and this fact was withheld from the cabinet by the accused.

Ling pleaded not guilty to both charges and Sessions Court judge Suzana Hussin set bail at RM1 million. Mention has been fixed for Sept 3.

According to a source, Ling managed to post bail today.

He was represented by counsel RR Sethu.

On leaving the courtroom, he told journalists that it was his first time in Putrajaya's Palace of Justice, located next to the Kajang Sessions Court complex.

Asked whether he was confident about fighting off the case, he said, “In the Palace of Justice, you must feel very confident of justice.”

Ling appeared in court at 4.45pm, accompanied by his wife Ena and two sons. He then proceeded to sit in the dock. Ling, who wore a light-blue striped shirt and a pair of sandals, was expressionless.

He is the second MCA president to be placed in the dock after Tan Koon Swan.

(more)

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