Selangor Journal
Spanco Sdn Bhd chairman Tan Sri Robert Tan Hua Choon arrives at the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur on April 3, 2024. — Picture by BERNAMA

Spanco chairman charged with cheating Finance Ministry

KUALA LUMPUR, April 3 — Spanco Sdn Bhd chairman Tan Sri Robert Tan Hua Choon was charged in the Sessions Court today with cheating the Ministry of Finance to award his company a contract worth RM3.9 billion to manage the government’s vehicle fleet.

Tan, 83, pleaded not guilty after the charge was read out to him before Judge Suzana Hussin.

“I understand (the charge), I am not guilty,” he said.

Tan is accused of deceiving the Ministry of Finance by misleading the Tender Opening Committee for the tender titled ‘Request for Proposal for Supply, Repair, Maintenance and Management of Government of Malaysia Vehicle Fleet’, Public Private Partnership Unit under the ministry.

It was related to at least 30 per cent Bumiputera shareholding in Spanco through a document titled ‘Appendix IV (Annex i) Bidder’s Profile’, and thereby Tan had allegedly dishonestly influenced the Ministry of Finance to award the ‘Supply, Repair, Maintenance and Management of Government of Malaysia Vehicle Fleet’ worth RM3,966,386,628 to Spanco, which the ministry would not have done had it not been misled.

The offence was allegedly committed at Tender Room, Public Private Partnership Unit, Finance Ministry, Precinct 2, Persiaran Perdana, Putrajaya between February 27 and 28, 2019.

The charge under Section 420 of the Penal Code provides for imprisonment of up to 10 years, with whipping, and a fine, upon conviction.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) deputy public prosecutor Mahadi Jumaat suggested bail of RM2 million in one surety, with condition that he surrenders his passport, reports himself to the MACC office every month and does not interfere with witnesses directly or through third parties.

Tan’s lawyer Datuk Wan Azmir Wan Majid did not oppose the bail sum.

“Please allow my client to report to the MACC office once every three months because he suffers from various illnesses including high blood pressure, knee and back pain. My client is also not a flight risk,” he said.

Suzana allowed Tan bail of RM2 million in one surety on condition that he does not interfere with witnesses and reports himself to the MACC office once every two months.

The court set June 4 for mention of the case.

— Bernama

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