Judge wants no more delays in Kong Choy’s trial
KUALA LUMPUR, May 21 — A High Court judge warned prosecutors against any further delay in Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy’s cheating trial over the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal, pointing out that he did not come to court for “sight-seeing”.
The former transport minister’s trial was today postponed for the third time to October 31.
Deputy public prosecutor Datuk Nordin Hassan told the court that the prosecution needed more time to come to a final decision regarding a letter of representation sent to them by the defence on March 20.
Chan’s lead lawyer Datuk Tan Hock Chuan said he had no objections to the application.
Justice Zamani Abdul Rahim, who now based in Penang, said it was the third time he had to travel to the capital city to hear the case.
“I did not come down to ‘makan angin’ (sight-seeing),” the trial judge told the court, adding, “I am ready to proceed with the case at any time.”
“I hope this date will be the final date to determine whether the representation will be accepted or not,” he said.
Zamani was reported saying he did not wish the court system to be seen as inefficient and unprepared to handle the case.
The judge vacated the previous scheduled dates for the trial and fixed October 31 as the new mention date.
Since December 2009, six individuals have been charged over the PKFZ scandal including former MCA president Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik and his successor as transport minister, former MCA deputy president Chan, who is also accused of lying to the Cabinet.
Chan was charged in the Sessions Court in Putrajaya on February 28 last year with three counts of cheating then-Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi of a whopping RM1.9 billion over the trans-shipment project between 2004 and 2006.
He faces up to five years’ jail on each count.
The project was initially tagged at RM1.1 billion after it was mooted by Dr Ling in 1997, but more than quadrupled to RM4.6 billion by 2007.
A position review by top accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers revealed in 2009 that the total cost including interest from debt repayments could reach RM12.5 billion.