PKFZ: Dr Ling gives conflicting statements during cross-examination
Posted on July 19, 2012, Thursday
KUALA LUMPUR: Former transport minister Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik, who is charged with cheating the government,yesterday gave conflicting statements on documents pertaining to the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) during cross-examination by the prosecution.
Dr Ling, 68, told the High Court that he could not remember about the documents, which included two that were prepared by the Transport Ministry to the Cabinet.
However, in his previous testimony, he had told the court that he had never seen the documents.
Pushed further by deputy public prosecutor Datuk Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah, Dr Ling said he could not remember the answer he gave to his counsel, Wong Kian Kheong, who questioned him on the matter during examination-in-chief yesterday.
Besides the two documents for the Cabinet, Dr Ling was also referred to a document on a cabinet’s decision, dated Oct 2, 2002, which approved the ‘willing buyer-willing seller’ approach for the purchase of land at RM25 per sq ft and the deferred payment of 15 years.
His response to questions on the document was also “cannot remember”, when yesterday, he had said he had never seen them.
The documents referred to by Tun Abdul Majid also included a letter from Valuation and Property Services Department (JPPH) former director-general Datuk Sahari Mahadi stating that the land price was RM21 per sq ft.
Dr Ling, who was transport minister for 17 years from 1986, is charged with cheating the government by not disclosing to the Cabinet an additional interest rate of 7.5 per cent per annum on the purchase price of the land for the PKFZ project, which had been fixed at RM1,088,456,000 by the Valuation and Property Services Department (JPPH), based on RM25 per sq ft (psf), inclusive of the coupon/interest rates.
He also faces two alternative (amended) charges of cheating and intentionally not disclosing to the Cabinet, that the 7.5 per cent per annum was an additional interest rate on the land price.
He is alleged to have committed the offences at the fourth floor of the Prime Minister’s Office, Perdana Putra building in Putrajaya, between Sept 25 and Nov 6, 2002.
When questioned whether price was an issue in the purchase of the land in Pulau Indah, Dr Ling said it was not because the matter was under the supervision of JPPH and the Finance Ministry.
Referring to his letter, dated April 3, 2002, to former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, whether he had recommended Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSB) to be given the contract to carry out basic infrastructure development at Pulau Indah, Dr Ling said he disagreed.
He also said that he did not know if the land price included the interest rate or not.
Dr Ling said that although he was transport minister then, he did know about land value and the meaning of bond issue.
The Transport Ministry, and also other ministries, always abide by the valuation set by JPPH, he said, adding that he, himself, did not object to decisions made by the Finance Ministry, he added.
The hearing before judge Datuk Ahmadi Asnawi continues on Sept 24. — Bernama