PKFZ: A scandalous end

PKFZ: A scandalous end

MARCH 21 – It was not a “happy” birthday for Datuk Lee Hwa Beng who turned 63 on Sunday.

The former chairman of the Port Klang Authority (PKA), who had vowed those who had haemorrhaged the PKA and government of up to RM4.6 billion in the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal would be brought to book, was still coming to terms with Friday’s acquittal of three people involved in the scandal.

On Saturday he even offered his apologies to the Malaysian public for “wasting” money, time and resources in doggedly pursuing culprits and closure for the ballooning costs of the 405-hectare PKFZ from RM1.1 billion to RM4.6 billion.

However, according to auditors, after factoring interest payments, the eventual price tag will be RM12.5 billion.

On Friday, Shah Alam Sessions Court Judge Asmadi Hussin acquitted Law Jenn Dong, 59 the former project manager of PKFZ developer Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSB); KDSB chief operating officer Stephen Abok, 59 and architect Bernard Tan Swee Seng, 56 of BTA Architect.

They had faced a total of 24 counts of cheating involving over RM120 million.

Their prosecutions followed those of former transport ministers Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik and Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy; and former PKA general manager OC Phang who was the central figure to the scandals.

These individuals were also freed. Their acquittals were also never appealed.

These acquittals follow the decision by the PKA to withdraw its RM720 million civil suit against KDSB three years ago.

KDSB in return dropped its defamation suit against the PKA, former Transport Minister Tan Sri Ong Tee Keat and PKA chairman Lee – the two men who were pivotal in seeking accountability for the financial scandal and paid the price for it, losing the favour of their party, some colleagues and leaders.

What’s left is the ongoing civil suit by PKA against OC Phang for breach of fiduciary duty. But if anyone is hoping for any form of accountability, please do not hold your breath.

The PKFZ prosecutions seem to follow a trend where huge white collar crimes involving taxpayers’ money will never see those responsible punished.

And now the second guessing begins, messing up one’s mind and questioning if there was something we all missed.

I’m beginning to question what it was I – along with former colleague Citizen Nades who was first tipped off to the scandal when attending an old boys’ reunion in Klang – had been actively unearthing for three years, and reporting and commenting on for a good seven years?

There is a lot at stake here including perception on institutions that are supposed to uphold the law and promote transparency and accountability when it comes to the public trust.

PKFZ: A scandalous end
Terence Fernandez
March 21, 2017 – MMO


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for the triumph of evil
is for good men
to do nothing.

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fears their government,
there is TYRANNY;
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