Black Hole case: Reasonable to use the word “Black Hole” as recipients were a mystery

SARAWAK DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen had asked the chief minister to disclose the identities of those who received money from the trust fund but no definitive answers were given.

Chong told the Kuching High Court today that he had submitted a question in the state assembly in 2012 asking for the recipients names but all he received was an answer that the recipients were companies or agencies that had been approved by the chief minister.

“So, I didn’t seek further verification with the state financial authority or the state financial secretary regarding the identities of the recipients as I don’t think they will give me the details.”

In his testimony as the second defence witness, Chong said: “I also didn’t verify with the state financial secretary if the RM11 billion in the trust fund had went missing or if the recipients could be families and cronies as he (secretary) had made it clear that his duties were to forward ministers’ replies to respective assemblyman (who had submitted their questions earlier).”

He said his statement and pamphlets regarding the Black Hole, questioning the whereabouts of RM11 billion in the trust fund, was made after the finance minister refused to reveal who were those agencies or companies approved to receive the money from the trust fund.

Chong, who is the Kota Sentosa assembly and Stampin MP said, it was reasonable to use the word “Black Hole” to describe the budget as the state assembly was not informed where or who the money was paid to.

He said his words saying “the approved agencies can be families and cronies” was merely an opinion.

Chong is being sued for defamation by the Sarawak government and State Financial Authority (SFA) for using the term ‘Black Hole’ to insinuate that RM11 billion had gone missing from the state coffers.

His allegation was published in Sin Chew Daily News, Malaysiakini and in leaflets distributed by him and the DAP, and also published in The Rocket.

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