Monday 1 August 2011

PKFZ land sold for higher than valuation, court told

The cabinet paid RM25 for per square feet (psf) to acquire land for the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) project in 1998 despite lower government evaluations, the Kuala Lumpur High Court was told today.
Teo Lee Lee, a retired valuer from the Valuation and Property Services Department (JPPH) testified before judge Ahmadi Asnawi that the price paid for the land was higher than even a second estimation in which she revised an earlier valuation upward. 

"I valued 400 acres of land at RM13.50 for per sq ft without the main access road and basic infrastructure.
"I gave a second value of RM17 per sq ft in the event the seller built the main access road and basic infrastructure," said Teo in reference to Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSB), which sold the land.

Among the considerations Teo said she had taken into account was that the 400 acres on a 99-year leasehold of which four years had lapsed.
The retiree was testifying at the corruption trial involving former transport minister Dr Ling Liong Sik, which began today.

It is expected to hear the testimony of 40 witnesses.

Ling was charged on July 29 last year of cheating the government of Malaysia by misleading the cabinet on a land acquisition for the RM1.08-billion mega-distribution hub project in Port Klang.

NONELing (right) is alleged to have deceived the cabinet into agreeing to the terms of purchase between KDSB and PKA and giving its approval for the purchase.

He is said to have committed the deception with the knowledge that it could cause wrongful losses to the government and despite being bound by a fiduciary duty to protect the government.

The charge, under Section 418 of the Penal Code, carries a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment or fine or both upon conviction.

Ling faces an alternative charge of similar cheating for deliberately concealing facts related to the project from the cabinet.

The charge, under Section 417 of the Penal Code, is punishable by imprisonment of up to five years or fine or both upon conviction.

Ling is alleged to have committed the offences between Sept 25, 2002, and Nov 6, 2002 at the fourth floor of the Prime Minister's Office at the Perdana Putra building in Putrajaya.

Ling has pleaded not guilty to both counts.

Deputy Public Prosecutors Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah and Manoj Kurup are appearing for the prosecution while Ling is represented by counsel Wong Kian Kheong.

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[More to follow]

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