Absence of appeal in Liong Sik acquittal suspicious, say lawyer, MP

By Ida Lim
The Malaysian Insider
November 9, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 9 — The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) decision to not challenge Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik’s acquittal over the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal was dubious when it appeals even redundant cases, according to two critics today.

When contacted today, civil rights lawyer Syahredzan Johan described the decision as “baffling, to say the least”, contrasting it to what he categorised as the AGC’s swiftness in appealing against court rulings that were in favour of human rights.

“The AGC has always been quick to appeal against the decisions that promote human rights and constitutionalism and also decisions in favour of opposition politicians, but when it is a decision that concerns allegations of corruption against a former Cabinet member, the AGC has decided not to pursue the appeal,” he told The Malay Mail Online in an email reply.

“As an example; in the UKM4 case the AGC decided to appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal in favour of the 4 former students, even when the matter has become academic as the law has been amended and the 4 are no longer students,” he added.

Syahredzan was referring to the case of four Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) students who were charged under now-amended Section 15 (5)(a) of the Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA) for their alleged presence during the 2010 Hulu Selangor by-election campaign.

The High Court found that the clause barring university students’ participation in politics was unconstitutional, but the matter was brought by the AGC to the Court of Appeal and Federal Court, where the apex court struck out the case on November 22, 2012 as it was by then “academic”.

Today, Syahredzan also questioned the rationale behind the AGC’s decision.

“Is the AGC taking the stand that there would be no merits in the appeal? Is it because the case was weak from the start, or is it because there is a flaw in the prosecution of the case by the AGC itself?

“If the case was weak from the start, why is it that they decided to prosecute? If there are weaknesses in the prosecution, then questions should certainly be asked as to why these weaknesses are there,” he said.

DAP’s veteran leader Lim Kit Siang said the Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail should “step down”, claiming that it was the straw that broke the camel’s back in an alleged “series of miscarriages of justice” by the former.

“How can a minister, a so-called grand corruption case brought to court be allowed to be lost in such a scandalous manner and there’s no appeal?” Lim asked when contacted, claiming that it meant that the government’s top prosecutor did not even believe in his own case.

“The AG must be responsible for his own charges, the charges preferred against Liong Sik in this case,” Lim said, saying that it was not a case involving mere “small fry”.

Lim insisted that “the sense of honour demands” that Abdul Gani steps down.

He said the case was a test of the government’s “sincerity” in fighting corruption, going on to equate the AGC’s decision not to appeal to the alleged failure of the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration in combating graft.

But Syahredzan disagreed that the AG should resign over the case involving Dr Ling.

“Personally, I do not think that the AG should step down solely because of this case. But the AGC should at the very least explain its decision,” he said.

When contacted yesterday, the case’s lead prosecutor Datuk Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah merely said “no appeal” in a brief text message to The Malay Mail Online.

Tun Abdul Majid, who is also Deputy Solicitor-General II, did not provide the reasons behind the AGC’s decision to not proceed with an appeal in the high-profile case.

On October 25, High Court judge Datuk Ahmadi Asnawi ruled that Dr Ling’s lawyers managed to raise reasonable doubt in the prosecution’s case and acquitted the former MCA president from the cheating charges hanging over his head for the past few years.

The trial started in August 2011, with Dr Ling ordered to enter his defence on March 9 last year while the defence closed its case on June 20 this year.

Dr Ling, who was Malaysia’s transport minister for 17 years from January 1986 to May 2003, was charged in July 2010 with deceiving the Cabinet into approving the land purchase for the PKFZ project, despite knowing that the approval would result in wrongful losses for the government.

Dr Ling also faced two alternative charges of deceiving the Cabinet into believing that the land purchase’s terms — at RM25 psf plus 7.5 per cent interest — had the acknowledgment and agreement of the Land Valuation and Property Services Department (JPPH) despite knowing that there was no such agreement.

The criminal offences were allegedly committed between September 25 and November 6 in 2002, a few months before he stopped serving as a transport minister.

  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Sunday, 10 November 2013 - 7:04 pm

    Should the AG be forced to resign over this? The AG should have been forced to resign LONG TIME AGO and not only that should have been shamed in public, stripped of all dignity – children warned never to be like him, no low good enough for him..

    BUT the fact of the matter is the AG can get away with this and many acts MUCH worst in the past because UMNO/BN and PM not only lets him, they WANT HIM to do these things. You can punish him in disgusting ways and it still really won’t prevent more like him popping up again next and in the future and even worst.

    Ultimately UMNO must be punished with the worst possible imagination – the removal of power and shamed all those that followed and even excel in abuse of power and irresponsibilities.

  2. #2 by yhsiew on Sunday, 10 November 2013 - 7:48 pm

    ///civil rights lawyer Syahredzan Johan described the decision as “baffling, to say the least”…///

    It is not baffling at all. It is a clear-cut case of “I help you, you help me”.

  3. #3 by Di Shi Jiu on Sunday, 10 November 2013 - 8:17 pm

    Of course it is perfectly understandable why the Attorney-General did not appeal Ling’s acquittal.


    Well, when Ling was Minister for Transport, he was not the “numero uno” in his portfolio and not responsible for the PKFZ fiasco.

    Therefore, the Attorney-General is also not the “numero uno” in his portfolio and hence not responsible for any appeals.

    Ai yah! So easy one orso you donno, ah? :) Heheheheheheh!!!

  4. #4 by worldpress on Sunday, 10 November 2013 - 8:25 pm

    They look at the laws as JOKES

    unless JUSTICE is deliver to them

  5. #5 by undertaker888 on Sunday, 10 November 2013 - 8:34 pm

    My bet is everybody in this world would like to be one of the ministers in bolehland. You can plunder, steal, pillage and still not found guilty.

  6. #6 by rjbeee on Sunday, 10 November 2013 - 9:27 pm

    This are the cari makan AG we have ……Bumi crap

  7. #7 by cinaindiamelayubersatu on Sunday, 10 November 2013 - 9:50 pm

    Umno baru_a

  8. #8 by tak tahan on Sunday, 10 November 2013 - 10:22 pm

    All those donkeys and monkeys ministers,high ranking senior officers and the top man mahatai involved in the planning,drafting,implementation,meeting,approvalshall be haul up to court for the indefensible charges.There shall be no one excuse to justify ‘overlook’ such high profile project when they are so many eyes any ears studying the documents and attending the numerous meeting.Are all the old donkeys ministers involved half past sixes illiterate eyesight ‘lau hua’ who can’t read and evaluate such high profile project involving tax payers’s money ?Only in Bolehland one can escape with such big loot with big smile and relief while keep on enjoying fullife like no tomorrow.

  9. #9 by Godfather on Monday, 11 November 2013 - 2:32 am

    Another UMNO-MCA joint-venture. Does anyone really expect a different outcome ? When the prosecution papers were filed, we knew that the case was designed to fail. It was designed just to tide over the GE 13 elections. Anyone who thought otherwise must have been living on a different planet.

  10. #10 by Noble House on Monday, 11 November 2013 - 2:58 am

    FMT highlighted today a news portal reported former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad pressuring Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail by calling for a meeting with Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

    During the meeting, Mahathir claimed that the Attorney-General’s Chambers hired two CIA agents and Ahmad Zahid had agreed to launch an investigation into the matter.

    Prior to that, Dr Mahathir met ex-Kuala Lumpur CID director Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim, and lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

    Also present in the meeting were Dr Mahathir’s former political secretary Matthias Chang and former CCID director Datuk Ramli Yusoff.

    The five met up to discuss on Abdul Gani’s supposed involvement in the alleged fabrication of evidence in Anwar Ibrahim’s “black eye” case in 1998.

    Gani has also been receiving heavy criticism for his manner in handling the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder case, and PKFZ fiasco involving former transport minister Ling Liong Sik.

    Quite some interesting but notable personalities here. Are we about to see Mahathir making his move on Najib? Or is it just a ploy to get the AG’s attention?

    Whatever it is, expect some interesting times ahead.

  11. #11 by Winston on Monday, 11 November 2013 - 6:16 am

    Even when the PR were to take over Putrajaya, the Devils will grant amnesty to all their evil collaborators before leaving office, that is, if they were willing to leave.
    But such acts must be regarded as null and void because they were done to avoid prosecution.
    In fact all cases against the government’s henchmen that were dismissed, not due to lack of evidence, but due to connection, must be revived and prosecuted to the hilt.
    And those who dismissed such cases must be brought to trial for abuse of power.

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