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Snoop panel clears Ka Ting Print E-mail
Wednesday, 11 June 2008

The Star
by Ng Si Hooi and Ng Cheng Yee

KUALA LUMPUR: The panel set up to investigate allegations of a snoop squad to purge dissidents in the MCA has found no basis to the accusations.

The panel comprising party veterans Tan Sri Dr Sak Cheng Lum and Tan Sri Michael Chen, and senior lawyer Roger Tan, concluded that there was no basis to allegations that party president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting and other leaders were involved in the setting up of any such squad.

The claim by Petaling Jaya Utara MCA division adviser Wong Leong that RM10,000 a month was paid to Tee Ann Chuan, the man allegedly in the centre of the “three-man snoop squad”, was also found to be unproven.

The investigating panel presented their findings to the presidential council at the MCA headquarters here yesterday. A summary has been posted on the MCA website (www.mca.org.my).

MCA deputy president Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy read out a statement, on behalf of the presidential council later, expressing “its disapproval, in the strongest terms, over the unfair accusations made against the party and its leaders”.
Probe over: Chan showing reporters the panel report at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

“The council warns members against making further statements pertaining to the case as the inquiry has proven there has been no basis to such claims.”

In April, Wong, a veteran MCA member, claimed that a three-man committee was formed by Ong to discredit his rivals and in response, the presidential council set up a panel to investigate the allegation.

Witnesses testified that the squad was allegedly set up in October 2005 and ordered to compile information on “targets” that included rivals to the leadership, among them former Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek and vice-president Datuk Donald Lim.

Wong named Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai, Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Wee Jeck Seng and Tee, a former leader of a youth organisation, as members of the snoop squad. They denied the allegations at the inquiry and in several media statements.

Former Damansara Utama assemblyman Datuk Lim Choon Kim testified that he had been recruited while former Serdang MP Datuk Yap Pian Hon claimed a member of the squad had sought his help.

The panel, in clearing Ong’s name said: “We are mindful that in our conclusion, it can be interpreted that someone is not telling the truth.

“We find that the testimonies of Choon Kim and Pian Hon did not corroborate wholly with Wong Leong’s statement,” the report said, adding that Tee had appeared before the panel although he was not an MCA member.

The panel also concluded that Wong was “a not helpful and cooperative witness”.

In the summary, the panel said Donald admitted that the existence of a spy group was “based on hearsay” and “he agreed that he not only had political enemies but also business enemies who might want to end his political career as he had fought many ‘wars’ before”.

The panel said “no evidence” was presented “to show that there were acts calculated to destroy Donald's political career, save for mere speculation that he would not be made a deputy minister if elected”.

It also reported that when Dr Chua testified on May 21, the former vice-president said he had not heard anything about Tee being paid a salary by Ong or that Ong was involved, adding that Dr Chua had said he only heard of a “two-man squad”.

The panel, however, concluded that there was evidence to show that Tee had travelled to some parts of the country, met MCA grassroots members to gather political information but “as to his motive and objective, these are only known to himself”.

The panel also dismissed allegations that the alleged secret group had operated from the 16th floor of the Youth and Sports Ministry, where Liow’s office was located, saying “it does not make sense” to operate in such a “busy premises without being noticed”.


Put the past behind and unite for the party, urges president

KUALA LUMPUR: Party members should solve their differences and move in unity to show their love for the party after a three-man investigation panel concluded its report on the alleged snoop squad, said MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting.

“Currently, the party is facing a low point. I hope that we can do away with our prejudice and consolidate in unity to move forward,” he said in a statement yesterday.

He was responding to the findings of the panel which cleared his name over allegations he had set up a snoop squad to spy on his political enemies.

“The three-man investigation panel has cleared my name and I thank the grassroots comrades who encouraged and supported me,” he said.

Ong said he held strongly to his principle to promote a healthy political culture and did not resort to any immoral or cheap political tactics.

“All this while, my conscience was clear and I faced the investigation with an open heart, believing that the truth would be revealed one day,” he said.

He also thanked the members of the panel for their time and effort in completing their investigation work fairly.

Petaling Jaya Utama MCA division adviser Wong Leong and his counsel Datuk Theng Book said they would have to study the panel’s report before commenting.

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