OC Phang’s PKFZ case delayed until Ling’s trial is done

By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani, The Malaysian Insider

SHAH ALAM, Nov 15 — The Attorney-General’s Office agreed today with former Port Klang Authority (PKA) general manager OC Phang’s application for a stay of proceedings until the disposal of Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik’s cheating case.

DPP Dzulkifli Ahmad recommended to the Sessions Court for a stay because the proceedings of the former transport minister’s ongoing trial would be prejudicial to the current case.

Dzulkifli explained that chronologically Dr Ling had allegedly misled Cabinet some two years before Phang was alleged to have committed criminal breach of trust.

“In terms of chronology, Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik’s case involved acquiring the land whereby OC Phang’s alleged offence occurred after the land acquisition process was approved and it was during the land development process. So in terms of chronology, that offence happened first so the case has to be heard first,” he said.

Judge Asmadi Hussin agreed that the trial would only commence when a decision is reached in Dr Ling’s case.

Phang’s lawyer, Francis Ng Aik Guan, had previously argued that Dr Ling’s ongoing trial for his role in the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal will affect and influence her case.

Phang is charged with criminal breach of trust involving RM254.85 million in the PKFZ debacle, while Dr Ling is charged with allegedly deceiving the Cabinet about the land acquisition for the PKFZ project in Klang.

Dr Ling is alleged to have committed the crime between September 25, 2002 and November 6, 2002.

Phang is charged with committing three counts of criminal breach of trust 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 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.

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.

The free trade zone was set up by PKA in 1999 in a joint venture with the Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone to attract foreign investment and promote the port.