PKFZ trial postponed over new papers

SHAH ALAM, Aug 25 — The defence won a delay today in the trial of former Port Klang Authority (PKA) general manager Datin Paduka OC Phang for criminal breach of trust involving RM254.85 million in the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal as they have yet to go through new evidence submitted by the prosecution.

Judge Asmadi Hussin postponed the trial to October 26 following the defence’s request for more time to study the 246 new documents submitted yesterday and also because their representation was still under consideration.

“We have not had time to examine them (the new documents),” Phang’s lawyer Ng Aik Guan told the Klang Sessions Court here today, adding that the defence  had only submitted their representation to the Attorney-General’s Chambers this morning.

Ng also said the defence had yet to receive a response to previous representations they had made to the AG.

“Most of those documents are technical,” said Ng, adding that the defence needed time to examine and refer them to experts.

Phang is charged with committing three counts of CBT involving RM98,700,000, RM21,600,000 and RM134,550,000 at the PKA, Jalan Pelabuhan Utara, Port Klang, between October 1, 2004, and May 9, 2006.

If convicted, she faces a maximum of 20 years’ jail and liability of a fine on each charge.

Phang was charged last December along with PKFZ turnkey contractor Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd’s (KDSB) chief operating officer Stephen Abok and architect Bernard Tan Seng Swee of BTA Architect, with CBT and cheating amounting to about RM380 million.

Also charged was former KDSB project director Law Jenn Dong, for allegedly making 24 fraudulent claims totalling RM116.85 million.

Dr Ling was charged with misleading the Cabinet over PKFZ land acquisition.
The PKFZ scandal also saw the high-profile prosecution of MCA ex-president Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik last month for allegedly deceiving the Cabinet about the land acquisition for the PKFZ project in Klang.

Dr Ling’s charges concern land evaluations under the Penal Code with the principle charge under Section 418, with an alternative charge under Section 417.

The PKFZ scandal first surfaced in 2007 when it was reported that the development costs of the integrated cargo distribution hub and industrial park had more than doubled from RM2 billion to RM4.6 billion.

The total bill for the project is expected to swell to as much as RM12.5 billion due to interest costs from deferred payments, if the trans-shipment hub fails to perform.