Visitor No since 22-10-98
MCA panel’s hearing off Print E-mail
Thursday, 17 April 2008

©The Star (Used by permission)

KUALA LUMPUR: The three-man panel set up by the MCA presidential council to probe alleged spying on political enemies of the party president failed to conduct its first hearing after one of its members pulled out.

Lawyer Teh Hock Kee faxed a letter to the party headquarters yesterday declining appointment before the panel was to start its hearing at 2pm.

At a press conference, committee chairman Tan Sri Dr Sak Cheng Lum said the panel could not proceed with the hearing yesterday after receiving the letter from Teh, who cited personal reasons for his decision.

So sorry: Sak (left) apologising to Wong for not being able to proceed with the first panel hearing at Wisma MCA in Kuala Lumpur Wednesday.

Another panel member, lawyer Roger Tan, is an active Bar Council member.

“We will refer back to the presidential council on who the third member will be,” Dr Sak said, adding that he had apologised to Petaling Jaya division adviser Wong Leong for not being able to proceed with the first hearing.

Wong, who showed up at Wisma MCA here to attend the hearing, said he had handed a letter to Dr Sak expressing no confidence in the panel.

“When the panel sent me a notice to appear at the hearing, it was mentioned in the letter that Dr Sak, Tan and Datuk Leong Tang Chong would be the members of the committee, and I did not expect Teh to be one of the panel members,” he said.

He said since Leong was a director of Star Publications (M) Sdn Bhd, there would be conflict of interest if he were one of the panel members to investigate the allegations against Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting.

Star Publications (M) Sdn Bhd is a company under the MCA's investment arm Huaren Holdings Bhd.

“As for Tan, I have not heard of his name before and I also question his qualification to be one of the panel members,” Wong said.

Wong also did not understand how Leong and Tan, who were English-educated, could engage in thorough talks with him, as he could only communicate in Mandarin.

In his statement, Wong recommended four party veterans for the council to appoint two to the committee. The four are Tan Sri Lee Kim Sai, Tan Sri Dr Ting Chew Peh, Tan Sri Michael Chen and Datuk Ng Cheng Kiat.

Wong said he would not testify before the panel unless he had full confidence in its members.

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