Ling denies knowing his letter used for KDSB bonds
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 25 — Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik told the High Court today that he did not know that a letter of support he signed would be used to secure funds for debt-ridden Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSB), the previous landowner of the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) project.
The former transport minister is on trial for allegedly deceiving the Cabinet into approving the land purchase from turnkey developer KDSB, which had later resulted in wrongful losses for the government.
KDSB had a debt of RM380 million and it could not transfer the land free of encumbrances, deputy public prosecutor Datuk Tun Majid Tun Hamzah said during his cross-examination of Dr Ling (picture) today.
Dr Ling was quizzed by Tun Majid on a letter of support to two financial institutions which he had signed on May 28, 2003 — his last day in the Cabinet.
Dr Ling denied knowing the nature of business carried out by the financiers named in the letter, Malaysian International Merchant Bankers Berhad and Pacific Trustees Berhad, saying “I don’t know.”
Later he agreed that he thought they were “normal banks”.
Dr Ling disagreed that he knew the letter he signed was for the purpose of issuing a bond for KDSB.
“KDSB would not be able to transfer the land free of encumbrances if you didn’t issue this letter of support,” Tun Majid put it to Dr Ling.
“I don’t know about that,” the 69-year-old replied.
“You knew that with this letter a triple-A rating would be given to the bond,” Tun Majid suggested.
“I don’t even know what is triple-A rating. I disagree,” Dr Ling said.
“I put it to you that KDSB would not be using a single sen of its own money to pay off its debts,” said Tun Majid.
“I don’t know,” Dr Ling said.
He had earlier today denied knowing how KDSB would pay off its RM380 million debt.
The former MCA president also faces two alternative charges of deceiving the Cabinet into believing that the terms of purchase — at RM25 psf and 7.5 per cent interest — were acknowledged and agreed to by the Valuation and Property Services Department (JPPH) despite knowing that there was no such agreement.
“You intended and wanted the 7.5 per cent to be over and above RM1.088 billion to enable KDSB to clear its debts and transfer the land without encumbrances?” Tun Majid asked.
“I disagree,” Dr Ling replied.
Dr Ling faces a possible jail term of up to seven years, or a fine, or both, if convicted on the first charge under section 418 of the Penal Code.
The alternative charges carry a lighter sentence of five years’ jail, or a fine, or both.
Dr Ling will be re-examined by his counsel Wong Kian Kheong tomorrow.