Black Hole case: Sarawak govt had paid out RM1.5 billion in 2008, before payment vouchers were issued

THE Sarawak government had set up a trust fund in 2006 to serve the loans of a few approved agencies, the Kuching High Court was told today.

Sarawak’s former Director of Finance and Administration in the State Financial Secretary’s office, Abdul Kadir Zainuddin said this during cross-examination at the ‘Black Hole’ trial involving the Sarawak government and state DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen.

Chong, who is defending himself in the defamation case, told the court that the five approved agencies are Sarawak Capital Assets Sdn Bhd, SSG Capital Resources Sdn Bhd, SGOS Capital Holdings Sdn Bhd, Equisar Sdn Bhd and Aquasar Capital Sdn Bhd, and they had debts amounting to over RM1.6 billion.

The loans were to finance various projects in 2011.

Abdul Kadir, however denied the state fund was used to bail out 1st Silicon Sdn Bhd, as claimed by Chong.

The witness also denied mismanaging the fund, hence the State Financial Authority filed the defamation suit against Chong.

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

His allegation was published in the Rocket, Malaysiakini and Sin Chew Daily on Jan 3, 2013 as well as on leaflets distributed by Chong and the DAP.

Abdul Kadir also revealed to the High Court, that was presided by Judicial Commissioner Alexander Siew, that the state Treasury Department had paid out RM1.5 billion in 2008, to several approved agencies without payment vouchers being first issued by SFA.

He said the SFA only issued the payment vouchers after the payment was made.

When Chong asked further on the reason for this, the witness said the Treasury Department must have been instructed to do so to avoid loan interests on these agencies.

However, Chong did not question further on who had given such an instruction.

A national news portal writer is due to testify when hearing continues tomorrow.

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