There is a danger in being smarter than your boss, often than not, the boss always think that they're the smartest although the incontrovertible fact that the reality is not necessarily.
Undeniably, going over the boss’s head would be politically risky and it would cause a bad relationship. It’s unlikely that he would help you in any circumstances. The unhelpful circumstances thus can make life harder.
Dr Mahathir, who took the witness stand as the defense panel’s fourth witness, saying that he believed the former transport minister was not capable of cheating the government.
“As far as I know, he (Dr Ling) is an honest person,” the former prime minister said after declaring to the court that he had known Dr Ling Liong Sik for over 30 years and served with him in the government for 17 years.
Dr Mahathir had told the court that neither he nor any minister had lodged any criminal complaint about the Cabinet being deceived into approving the purchase of land for the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) project, which Dr Ling is on trial for.
He also testified that a policeman told him that if investigators had taken his police statement first, Dr Ling would not have been charged with any crime in the first place.
Dr Mahathir repeated saying that no minister under his charge had ever complained about the proposed price of RM25 per square feet for the PKFZ land.
Asked if Dr Ling had “misled, deceived or cheated” him in relation to the PKFZ land cost, Dr Mahathir replied, “Personally I don’t think so.”
Dr Ling, who served as transport minister for 17 years from January 1986 to May 2003, is charged with deceiving the Cabinet into approving the purchase of 999.5 acres of land for the PKFZ project, which had resulted in wrongful losses for the government.
The project, initially estimated at RM1.1 billion after it was mooted by Dr Ling in 1997, more than quadrupled in cost to RM4.6 billion by 2007.
The Price Water House Coopers (PWC) accounting firm revealed in 2009 that the total cost including interests from debt repayments could reach RM12.5 billion.
Since December 2009, six individuals have been charged in court including ex-MCA President Dr Ling, and his successor as transport minister, former MCA deputy chief Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy.
Both are accused of lying to the Cabinet.
Dr Ling also faces two alternative charges of deceiving the Cabinet into believing that the terms of the purchase at RM25 psf plus 7.5 per cent interest were acknowledged and agreed to by the JPPH despite knowing that there was no such agreement.
He faces a possible jail term of up to 7 years, or fine, or both, if convicted on the first charge under Section 418 of the Penal Code.