PKFZ: Kong Choy charged with cheating

PUTRAJAYA: Former transport minister Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy pleaded not guilty at the Sessions Court here to three counts of cheating former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi over the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal.

Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy

Chan, 55, is accused of deceiving Abdullah into approving Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSB) as the turnkey developer to carry out development of the Transshipment Hub project in Pulau Indah Free Zone and renovation works at the PKFZ site between 2004 and 2006, amounting to RM1.9 billion.

He is charged with three counts of cheating at the fourth floor of the main block at the former prime minister’s office in Perdana Putra building here.

He faces a jail term of five years or fine, or both on each of the three charges under Section 417 of the Penal Code.

Chan, who was not handcuffed, was clad in light blue long-sleeved shirt and grey trousers, when he arrived at 2.05pm, under heavy police escort.

Judge Azhaniz Teh Azman Teh allowed the former minister bail of RM1 million with one surety and fixed March 31 for mention.

Chan left the court at 4.35pm after posting bail. He was accompanied by wife Puan Sri Ann Chan and their daughter.

“It came as a surprise for me. But, anyway, I have confidence in the judicial system of the country. I’ll go through it and clear my name,” responded Chan to a question posed by a reporter.

The court proceedings which began at 2.10pm, took about 15 minutes, with the charges read by a court interpreter in Bahasa Malaysia to Chan, who replied, ‘Mengaku tidak bersalah’ (Plead not guilty).

Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, leading the prosecution team, requested the court to fix the mention date, a month from today, to enable both the prosecution and the defence to exchange documents and identify issues.

He suggested the parties in the case go through a pre-trial conference to avoid unnecessary issues and facts being raised in the court.

Assisting Abdul Gani were deputy public prosecutors Dzulkifli Ahmad and Manoj Kurup. Chan is represented by lawyers Arthur Wang, Badrul Munir Bukhari and Azad Bashir.

On the first charge, Chan is alleged to have deceived Abdullah into agreeing to approve KDSB as the turnkey developer for development of the Transshipment Hub project in Pulau Indah Free Zone, an area encompassing 1,000 acres, through a single phase with development cost estimated at RM1 billion.

Chan is accused of inducing Abdullah to agree to give the approval by dishonestly concealing the fact that the financing of the said development cost would be by KDSB issuing bonds through Transshipment Megahub Berhad, with the support of the Malaysian Government through the Minister of Transport, which Abdullah would not have done so if the said facts had been disclosed to him.

He is accused of committing the offence between Feb 24 and 25, 2004.

For the second charge, Chan is alleged to have deceived Abdullah to approve KDSB as the turnkey developer to carry out three additional development works on PKFZ.

The development works were upgrading of road junction work to PKFZ amounting to RM285.38 million, electrical infrastructure works amounting to RM135.0 million and construction of a business-class hotel amounting to RM90 million.

He is alleged to have induced Abdullah to agree to give the approval by dishonestly concealing the fact that the financing of the said development cost would be by KDSB issuing bonds through Valid Ventures Berhad with the support of the Malaysian Government through the Minister of Transport, whereby Abdullah would not have done, had the said facts been disclosed to him.

Chan is accused of committing the second offence between Oct 11 and 28, 2005.

For the third charge, Chan is alleged to have deceived Abdullah to approve KDSB as the turnkey developer to carry out another five additional development works on PKFZ.

The development works were concrete trenching works for electrical cables amounting to RM140.2 million, electrical works for 33kv supply to Precint 2 and Precint 8 amounting RM80 million, PMU infrastructure works for PKFZ amounting to RM30 million, construction of road linking PKFZ to West Port amounting RM28.1 million and construction of road linking the main entrance of PKFZ with Cargo Terminal 4 West Port, amounting to RM57.5 million.

Chan is alleged to have induced Abdullah into agreeing to the approval by dishonestly concealing the fact that the financing of the said development cost would be by KDSB issuing bonds through Free Zone Capital Berhad with the support of the Malaysian Government through the Minister of Transport, whereby Abdullah would not have done, had the said facts been disclosed to him.

He is accused of committing the offence between March 28 and 29, 2006.

Chan is the second VVIP to be charged over the project.

On July 29, former transport minister Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik was charged in the Sessions Court here with cheating the Malaysian Government with regard to the Port Klang Free Trade Zone (PKFZ) involving land acquisition amounting to RM1.08 billion in Pulau Indah.

Ling’s case has been transferred to the Kuala Lumpur High Court for trial. — Bernama

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