“Black Hole” trial: Court dismisses SSM witness statement

THE High Court today dismissed the testimony of a senior executive from the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) in the ‘Black Hole’ trial as it was irrelevant.

Judicial Commissioner Alexander Siew said this was because the court had earlier dismissed the applications by Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen to amend his defence to include allegations against Cahya Mata Sarawak (CMS) Bhd.

Therefore, the witness statement would not be admitted as evidence.

Earlier, Muhammad Faiz Othman, 36, a senior executive from SSM, had verified a document which was the summary printout on CMS.

He told the court that the printout had the information of company directors, secretaries and dates of appointment.

“Based on the printout, there are four individual shareholders – the late Puan Sri Hajjah Laila Taib, Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib, Datuk Seri Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Abdul Taib and Datuk Wira Onn Mahmud,” he said.

State Legal Counsel Datuk Seri JC Fong, representing the plaintiffs (Sarawak Government and State Financial Authority), made the application to dismiss the witness statement as it was irrelevant in the defamation suit.

Chong, the Kota Sentosa assemblyman and Stampin MP, is being sued for defamation over his use of the term “black hole” in January 2013 to insinuate that RM11 billion had gone missing from the state’s coffers.

His allegations were published in Sin Chew Daily News, Malaysiakini, in leaflets distributed by himself and the DAP, and also in “The Rocket”.