Curse of Bakun: The fall and fall of Ting Pek Khiing

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Ting Pek KhiingWhatever happened to tycoon Ting Pek Khiing, who was once involved in the construction of the jinxed Bakun Dam, built over native ancestral land including burial sites?

Ting, born in small town Bintagor near Sibu, was once Mahathir’s blue-eyed boy. Mahathir had seen a show home built opposite the Sarawak chief minister’s residence and he invited Ting to quickly build a hotel in Langkawi. The small-time contractor completed the Sheraton Langkawi Beach Resort in a record 100 days.

His Ekran Bhd was then awarded the construction contract for the Bakun Dam in 1994. But a massive dam is a different proposition from a hotel.

The tycoon even resorted to building a shrine at the Bakun Dam site after its cofferdam collapsed more than 20 times, The Edge revealed some time ago. He brought in a priest from Taiwan to conduct prayers, and six animals were slaughtered.

Photo credit: Abdul Ghani Ismail/The Edge

That couldn’t stop Ekran from running into financial difficulties during the East Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s. Unable to complete the job, it was nonetheless reportedly compensated a staggering RM950m.

The dam was only completed three years ago, after a new contractor took over.

More troubles have plagued Ting. His Plaza Rakyat project, next to the Pudu Raya bus terminal, took a hit. The firm responsible for the construction was Plaza Rakyat Sdn Bhd, whose sole shareholder was Wembley Industries Holdings Bhd.

Ting’s Ekran owned 33 per cent of Wembley. But Ekran was suffering after the financial crisis; Wembley felt the pain while PRSB was saddled with debt. The Plaza Rakyat project stalled in 1998 and was abandoned.

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Ekran and Wembley were both delisted and ended up in receivership.

The KL High Court declared Ting a bankrupt in 2010. All his assets were vested with the Director-General of Insolvency.

In April 2013, disaster struck at Ting’s Global Upline’s construction site office along Jalan Lapangan Terbang in Kuching. A blaze razed the office to the ground. (Ting had completed the airport project in 15 months.)

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Photograph: The Star

Knowing how these fellas operate, we can assume Ting isn’t exactly penniless now. But how the mighty have fallen from the adulation of the corporate world.

Call it the curse of Bakun.

References:

  • Malaysian Tatler
  • The Edge weekly, 27 May – 2 June 2013
  • The Star
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Alviss
Alviss
5 Jun 2013 4.23pm

I guess the mastermind of this project is laughing … petrol station and brewery for his son?

najib manaukau
5 Jun 2013 4.02pm

… the shenanigan Mahathir, should know how much this man has ? He has so much to say on everything and he should also have some comments about this man !

Yang
Yang
5 Jun 2013 5.36pm
Reply to  najib manaukau

Not just this man. Remember M even protect … Eric Cheah. Perwaja Chairman

Yang
Yang
5 Jun 2013 2.39pm

Bankrupt or not he is very very much richer than all of us. Still a billionaire. Bankrupt in name only, he don`t have to pay off all the debts and who suffer, the minority shareholders.

Jong
Jong
5 Jun 2013 2.14pm

Wasn’t it jinxed from the very beginning? Used and discarded; man, someone else’s fool greatest lesson – wise too late!

semuanya OK kot
semuanya OK kot
5 Jun 2013 1.36pm

Almost RM 1 billion for not completing a project, plus the profit from all the timber. We demand that Guiness Book of Records be fair and recognise this great achievement.

Declared a bankrupt, but will we ever learn how much was recovered from him?

At least since the time of BMF, there is a convenient delay to allow for the ferreting away of … assets.

Jong
Jong
5 Jun 2013 2.48pm

I suppose with that kinda money to throw around and the opportunity to rub shoulder, be the blue-eye boy of the sitting PM, it’s well worth it, at least for the ego, no? LOL!!

royal
royal
5 Jun 2013 12.48pm

he still a billonaires, at the ages of 70 plus he still have a super duper beautyfull …, no hhe can broke, lots of money la bro, very lots

Alvin
Alvin
5 Jun 2013 8.51pm

He built the DeLIMA hotel in time for the first LIMA defence exhibition ! The same problem with the Temmengor dam .It was built over orang asli land with its graveyard and they were cursed . It rains everywhere except at the dam area, even cloud seeding didn’t help . The rain clouds go over to the Thai side of the border and rains there ! Never mess with native lands !