KUALA LUMPUR, April 3 — Spanco Sdn Bhd executive director Tan Sri Robert Tan Hua Choon this morning was charged with cheating the government to award his company a contract worth over RM3.9 billion by convincing the Finance Ministry that Spanco has at least 30 per cent Bumiputera shareholding.

Tan, 83, pleaded not guilty after the charge was read before Judge Suzana Hussin at the Sessions Court here.

The offence was allegedly committed between February 27, 2019, and February 29, 2019, at the Finance Ministry’s office in Putrajaya.

Tan was charged under Section 420 of the Penal Code, which provides for up to 10 years in prison, whipping and a fine, upon conviction.


Bail was set at RM2 million by Judge Suzana after the accused's lawyer Datuk Wan Azmir Wan Majid, did not contest the amount suggested by Deputy Public Prosecutor Mahadi Abdul Jumaat, taking into account the seriousness of the crime and the value of the alleged offence in question.

The contract to handle the procurement and management of the government’s vehicles was given after he allegedly dishonestly influenced the Ministry of Finance regarding the tender entitled "Request for proposal, supply, repair, maintenance and management of government of Malaysia vehicle fleet."

In February, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Tan Sri Azam Baki said the crux of the investigation is on the supply and management of the fleet of vehicles contract awarded to Berjaya Group and Naza Corporation Holdings Sdn Bhd in 2019, only to be terminated and then given back to Spanco during the previous government's administration.


According to the New Straits Times, Spanco has been handling the government’s fleet for 25 years since 1993.

The court also ordered that the court would withhold the tycoon's international and diplomatic passports until the trial ends and ordered that they not attempt to discuss the trial with any of the prosecution's witnesses.

The 83-year-old man is Spanco's executive director and is still active in its operations, said lawyer Razlan Hadri Zulkifli who held a watching brief for Spanco.

The tycoon was also ordered to report at the nearest MACC office once every two months.

According to The Edge, Tan currently owns 24.65 per cent of shares in Spanco, the most shares held by a natural person, followed by Datuk Seri Tan Han Chuan at 14.67 per cent, Datin Tan Ching Ching (9.68 per cent) and Minhat Mion (5 per cent).

Spanco's biggest shareholder is Jati Rata Sdn Bhd (46 per cent).

MACC raided the tycoon's home in January for its investigation.

Although Datuk Wan Azmir Wan Majid represented the accused today, Tan's main counsel is Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik. -