Kuala Lumpur, 18 March 2014
High Court Affirms Conviction on Manipulation Case of Suremax Shares

The Kuala Lumpur High Court today dismissed the appeal by Dato’ Phillip Wong Chee Kheong and Francis Bun Lit Chun and affirmed their conviction for their involvement in the manipulation of Suremax Group Berhad (Suremax) shares.

Dato’ Phillip, 52, Francis Bun Lit Chun, 43, were found guilty under Section 84 of the Securities Industry Act 1983 for the manipulation of Suremax Group Berhad shares between 24 November 2004 and 22 March 2005. They had committed the offence by executing trades in nine accounts that did not involve any change in the beneficial ownership of the said shares, thus creating a misleading appearance of active trading in Suremax shares on Bursa Malaysia. They were charged on 25 October 2005 with 38 witnesses being called by the prosecution. Both accused testified when the defence was called.

Justice Haji Kamardin bin Hashim in upholding the conviction by the Sessions Court in January 2011, stated that the trial judge did not err when she found that the witnesses called by the prosecution were credible. He reiterated that the trial was conducted fairly and that there was no prejudice to both appellants during the conduct of the trial.

The High Court will determine the sentence to be imposed on Thursday , March 27 2014  as counsel for the appellants had asked for  submissions be heard by the court before  the appeal against  sentence  is finally decided.  The High Court ordered that bail be increased to RM500,000 for each appellant whilst awaiting the outcome on the appeal against their respective sentences. The two appellants face a jail term of up to 10 years.

The Sessions Court had, in 2011, sentenced Dato’ Phillip Wong to 24 months jail and a fine of RM3 million whilst Francis Bun was sentenced to 3 months jail and a fine of RM2 million.

SC views today’s decision positively given that market manipulation is a serious form of market abuse. The SC consistently monitors market abuse activities and will continue to apply its enforcement powers against persons who are found to have violated the law. It reiterated its position that it is committed to pursue the enforcement of such offences to ensure that the integrity of the capital market is preserved.