Dr Ling says guilty if Dr M says so

By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani, The Malaysian Insider

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 3 — Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik declared today that he will be guilty of cheating in the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal if his former boss Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says so.

Dr Ling, the former transport minister in Dr Mahathir’s Cabinet, said today he was thankful to the former PM for his “generous” offer to testify in his PKFZ cheating trial.

The former MCA president said his ex-boss’s testimony was important because he chaired Cabinet meetings.

“I would like to say thank you very much to him because that is very generous of him because he was chairing the Cabinet meeting and I am being charged for cheating the whole Cabinet so all these witnesses are very important,” he told reporters at the Sessions Court here today.

Dr Mahathir has said that he will testify in the former transport minister’s trial if the court subpoenas him.

The former PM had also pointed out that Dr Ling is innocent until proven guilty.

Dr Ling said that if Dr Mahathir testifies that the Cabinet was cheated, then he would indeed be guilty.

“If they bear witness that they were cheated then I am guilty. If they bear witness that I cheated then there is a case for trial,” he added.

Dr Ling, 67, is charged with cheating the government by misleading the Cabinet helmed by Dr Mahathir on the land acquisition for the PKFZ project.

The PKFZ project was mooted during his term as transport minister and the cost of the project, initially estimated at less than RM2 billion, more than doubled to RM4.6 billion by 2007.

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.

He faces up to seven years in jail and a fine under the Penal Code, if found guilty.