Kuala Lumpur, 9 April 2014
High Court maintains two year jail sentence and RM3 million fine on market manipulator

The High Court today dismissed Dato Phillip Wong Chee Kheong’s appeal against a two-year jail term and a fine of RM3 million meted out by the Sessions Court upon his conviction under section 84(1) Securities Industry Act 1983.

Wong, 53, was earlier convicted by the Sessions Court after a full trial on 7 January 2011 for the offence of manipulating Suremax Group Berhad shares.

He was charged for executing transactions in 9 accounts that did not involve any change in beneficial ownership of the said shares. His appeal against this conviction was dismissed by the High Court Judge YA Tuan Haji Kamardin bin Hashim on 18 March 2014.

Wong today again appealed against the sentence by Sessions Court in 2011. The Counsel for Wong sought a minimum sentence on the grounds that he is now a bankrupt and has an aging mother to care for.

In response, the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) highlighted that this case involved a full trial where it had called 38 witnesses and had tendered extensive documentary evidence proving Wong’s active involvement in the manipulation which took place over a five-month period.

It was also submitted that the Sessions Court Judge did not err when meting out the sentence as she had emphasised that market manipulation was a serious offence undermining investor confidence and the integrity of the securities market.

In affirming the sentence, the High Court Judge found no merit in the appeal and held that the sentence was not manifestly excessive but instead was commensurate with the offence.

This case sets a new benchmark for imprisonment of market manipulators and the SC will continue to seek deterrent sentences to ensure that investors are protected and that the integrity of the market is constantly maintained.