By Emma Victoria
A SENIOR reporter from Sin Chew Daily was among two witnesses called to court for the trial of the ‘black hole’ case involving the Sarawak government and state DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen, that began at the High Court here yesterday.
Chia Wee Sing who represented the state government, was crossed examined by defendant Chong and his counsel cum father Siew Chiang.
Chia told the court that her article published in Sin Chew Daily on Jan 3, 2013, was “not completely” written based on the content of the leaflet printed by the DAP, Borneo Post reported.
Chieng Jen, who is also the counsel in the case, had asked Chia to interpret the ‘black hole’ leaflet, which was printed by the DAP but Judicial Commissioner Alexander Siew ruled: “The witness is not called to interpret the leaflet done by DAP. The leaflet was done by your (Chieng Jen’s) party, this (Chia) is just a reporter.”
Siew said Chieng Jen’s counsel could submit at the end of the trial that the author had not accurately reported on the leaflet.
Chieng Jen even asked the witness if the Sarawak government had disclosed the approved agencies receiving contributions to the trust fund after her report was published, and whether she knew what the approved agencies were.
Chia said she could not recall as a response to the first question and she had no clue to the other question.
Earlier, Siew Chiang asked the witness whether the press conference she covered on Jan 2, 2013 was a joint PC by the DAP state leaders.
Chia agreed that it was a joint PC by the state DAP leaders with nine of them including four elected representatives at the time.
Siew asked the counsel about the relevance of whether it was a joint PC.
“Because she (Chia) said Chong Chieng Jen gave her the leaflet. I want to establish that it’s a joint PC, and it could be anyone (who gave her the leaflet).”
The witness also told the court that Chieng Jen was the one who spoke at the conference.
The Sarawak government was represented by state legal counsel Datuk Seri JC Fong as well as state legal officers Mohd Adzul Adzlan, Voon Yan Sin and Oliver Chua, while also representing Chieng Jen were Michael Kong and Sim Kiat Leng.
The case involves the management of the “Government’s Contribution Towards Approved Agencies Trust Fund” by the Sarawak Government. The Trust Fund was set up in 2006 and up to 2013, approximately RM11 billion of State funds have been allocated to it.
The Kota Sentosa assemblyman has persistently questioned the whereabouts of the money in the Trust Fund resulting in the Sarawak Government filing a law suit against him for defamation.
Since then, the Speaker of the Sarawak DUN has stopped Chong from asking questions in the house on the operation of the Trust Fund on the grounds that the matter is now in litigation.
After years of battling in Court on the legal issues involving the case, the matter came up for trial in the Kuching High Court and the Court has scheduled the remainder of this week and the whole of next week for the trial.