Black Hole trial: Parts of Chong’s defence statement expunged

By Emma Victoria

THE Kuching High Court today has expunged several parts of the witness statement by Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen in the ‘Black Hole’ trial.

Judicial Commissioner Alexander Siew ruled that certain statements on two companies – Titanium Management Sdn Bhd and 1st Silicon (M) Sdn Bhd – were not admissible and ordered them to be expunged.

The state government had previously applied for the parts to be expunged.

Chong had submitted a 39-page witness statement over the “Black Hole” issue, where he gave certain details and also the chronology of events relating to the case.

Although he described the turn of events as disappointing, he declined to comment further on the court’s decision.

“I am totally disappointed as the statement is disallowed in the trial,” he told the reporters outside the court after the oral submission of the case.

Chong had previously said that Titanium Management had been appointed as the sole contractor to replace and build 384 bridges in Sarawak in 2000 as well as contracts for the construction and completion of Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) complex, Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) and the Aquatic Centre at the Sarawak Sports Complex.

On his next course of action, he said needed time to decide on it.

Chong, who is also the Stampin MP and Kota Sentosa assemblyman, is being sued for defamation by the Sarawak government and State Financial Authority 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, Malaysiakini, The Rocket and in leaflets distributed by him and the DAP.

It was also previously reported that Chong had questioned why five companies have raised funds through bonds yet the state still disbursed money for the repayment of their loans.

The companies are Sarawak Capital Assets Sdn Bhd, SSG Capital Resources Sdn Bhd, SGOS Capital Holdings Sdn Bhd, Equisar Sdn Bhd and Aquasar Capital Sdn Bhd.

Based on publicly available information, including transcripts from DUN sittings and official documents, between 2006 and 2020, some RM22 billion had been disbursed from the trust fund.