For the record, PKA filed RM920 million suits against KDSB to recover part of its losses, while MCA president and Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat filed a RM500 million defamation suit against KDSB chief executive officer Dtuk Seri Tiong King Sing, who is also the member of Parliament for Bintulu.
By M.Santhiran, BernamaThe Malaysian courts scene witnessed drama after drama during the year with the tussle for the Perak menteri besar post, Teoh Beng Hock inquest and cases involving Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim including his bid to strike out a fresh sodomy charge against him taking centre stage.
As the year tapered off, court headlines flared again with the first indictments over the scandal-ridden Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) project with a total of 29 criminal breach of trust and cheating charges pressed against four accused.
The year's first major headline grabber was the dispute between Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin of Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and Datuk Seri Dr Zamry Abdul Kadir of Barisan Nasional (BN) after three PR state assembly representatives declared themselves as independents friendly to BN.
Mohd Nizar turned to the courts after Dr Zambry was appointed as the menteri besar and the matter is pending with the Federal Court.
Earlier, the Court of Appeal, in overturning a High Court decision, held that Sultan Azlan Shah was right in appointing Zambry as the new menteri besar under Article 16(2) of the Perak Constitution.
The case also resulted in DAP chairman Karpal Singh being charged for sedition for remarks made at a media conference relating to the Sultan of Perak over the state's political crisis.
Anwar, 62, who claimed trial to sodomising his former aide Mohamad Saiful Bukhari Azlan in 2008, failed to stop the prosecutors from transferring the case to the High Court.
The Court of Appeal upheld an appeal by the prosecution against a High Court order to supply documents and materials such as medical reports and DNA samples sought by Anwar whose trial is set for hearing on Jan 25 next year.
Meanwhile, Anwar took his RM100 defamation suit against former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for calling him a homosexual to the Federal Court after the Court of Appeal struck out the suit because his appeal was not filed in the national language as required by law.
The Federal Court has fixed Mar 1 to hear his appeal for leave against the appellate decision.
Anwar also filed multi-million civil suits against the media with Utusan Malaysia and News Strait Times heading the list.
The country's anti-graft agency renamed the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) at the beginning of 2009 took a tumble after young political aide, Teoh Beng Hock, was found dead on the fifth floor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam on July 16 after he was called in by MACC Selangor for questioning into alleged misappropriation of state funds.
Teoh's death is being investigated by a highly-publicised coroner's inquest and the government has also agreed to set up a Royal Commission to probe investigative methods used by the MACC.
The High Court has also ruled that the MACC could only question witnesses during office hours in the case of Kajang Municipal Council member Tan Boon Wah, 39, who filed a suit against the MACC, claiming that his detention and questioning for 16 hours by the MACC recently was illegal.
However, the decision was overruled by the Court of Appeal.
MACC also suffered setbacks in its failed prosecutions againt big names, former Land and Cooperative Development Minister Tan Sri Kasitah Gaddam, former commercial crime director Datuk Ramli Yusoff and Tourism Malaysia director-general Datuk Mirza Mohammad Taiyab for graft.
It has since obtained High Court permission to appeal agains the acquittal of Mirza who returned to his post in the ministry after the trial.
In the PKFZ scandal, former Port Klang Authority (PKA) general manager Datin Paduka O C Phang was produced before the Klang Sessions Court on three counts of criminal breach of trust totalling RM254.85 million.
Three others, from turnkey contractor Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSB) and project consultant BTA Architect, faced cheating charges of making false claims.
Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail said more would be charged over the PKFZ controversy that arose after the cost to develop the massive 400-hectare integrated cargo distribution hub spiralled from RM2 billion to RM4.6 billion.
For the record, PKA filed RM920 million suits against KDSB to recover part of its losses, while MCA president and Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat filed a RM500 million defamation suit against KDSB chief executive officer Dtuk Seri Tiong King Sing, who is also the member of Parliament for Bintulu. Another coroner's case that received wide coverage was the inquest into the death of actress K. Sujatha, 28, a former personal assistant to S. Vell Paari, the chief executive officer of Maika holdings and son of MIC president Datuk Seri S.Samy Vellu.
The Coroner's Court ruled that she had committed suicide after consuming the weed killer, paraquat.
Controversial blogger Raja Petra Raja Kamarudin, who was detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA), eluded authorities trying to serve warrants of arrest against him for failing to turn up in court for a sedition charge and another of defaming the prime minister's wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.
The Petaling Jaya Sessions court had no alternative but to discharge the cases against the blogger who is reportedly in London after earlier speculation that he was in Australia.