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MCA begins Watergate-style probe Print E-mail
Monday, 12 May 2008

Malaysiakini
by Stanley Koh

Clandestine meetings, photographs taken secretly of party leaders and a ‘hit list’ of political rivals may trigger memories of the Watergate scandal among some Malaysians.

In that scandal, Richard Nixon resigned as US president following the break-in into the headquarters of his political rivals. Since then, Watergate is synonymous to political scandals involving ‘cover-up’ at the highest level.

mca snoop squad pc 120508 03Wong Leong (photo, right) - the man at the centre of the MCA ‘snoop squad’ allegation - today testified in Malaysia’s version of Watergate.

At the hearing of MCA’s special three-man committee led by party veteran Sak Cheng Lum to hear his accusation of a ‘snoop squad’ purportedly linked to top party officials this morning, he revealed the names of the “clandestine three-man committee”.

The allegation that certain party leaders had formed a ‘snoop squad’ to expose the private lives of political rivals was first made public by Wong two months ago.

At the hearing today, Wong named former MCA member Tee Ann Chuan and top party leaders Liow Tiong Lai and Wee Jack Seng as members of the secret group to snoop on party rivals allegedly with full knowledge of the party president.

Liow, who is MCA Youth chief, is health minister while Wee, the deputy youth and sports minister, is former political secretary to party chief Ong Ka Ting.

Wong, a former Petaling Jaya Utara MCA division chief, was accompanied by his legal counsel Theng Book during his 30-minute testimony at the first day of hearing, held behind closed doors by the ‘snoop squad’ committee.

According to Wong, he has also submitted an “explosive report” to the investigating committee allegedly linking the snoop squad to the president’s office.

Rivals to be ‘political exterminated’

Wong said the existence of the spy squad was revealed by Tee - a businessman who was said to be the key coordinator of the group - through their secret meetings where the clandestine committee had targeted party leaders in Selangor to be “politically exterminated” before the March 2008 general elections.

“Those targeted by the snoop squad included former president Ling Liong Sik (and his son, Hee Leong), (former Kelana Jaya MP) Loh Seng Kok, (former PJ Selatan MP) Donald Lim Siang Chai, (former party vice-presidents) Chua Jui Meng and Chua Soi Lek,” Wong wrote in his submission.

Wong’s submission included a confession by Tee on his involvement in the “conspiracy” to wipe out political rivals allegedly with full knowledge of the president through “underhanded activities”.

Wong, who released a written statement to the press, alleged that Tee’s had admitted that he was paid a monthly salary of RM10,000 for his special role as the chief coordinator of the snoop squad and that he was to report directly to the party president.

According to Wong, Tee had told him that during one of their meetings in September last year that the snoop squad was set up four years ago and Wong was instructed to keep the matter confidential.

mca snoop squad pc 120508 06 donald limAlso called to give his testimony today is Donald Lim (left), a party leader who is linked to former chief Liong Sik's faction.

Party president Ong Ka Ting in an exclusive interview with Malaysiakini in April had denied that he was involved in the alleged snoop squad.

"This is utter rubbish. This is something unthinkable for a person like me to go and do all these things. I, myself cannot believe it," he had said.

In a press statement issued late today, Ong said that he was ready to appear before the snoop squad committee when it resumes its hearing on Wednesday.

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