MCA Presidential Council should ask the Cabinet on Wednesday to establish a high-powered Commission of Inquiry to clear the MCA and MCA President of triad infiltration and influence following the police nation-wide manhunt for a MCA branch leader as triad kingpin
by Lim Kit Siang
(Penang, Sunday): Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said in Kepala Batas yesterday that the people should not cast aspersions on the MCA just because one of its branch leaders is wanted by the police for secret society activities.
He said the hunt for Ong King Ee, also known as “Jackie Chan”, did not reflect on MCA as a whole. He said: “We should not assume that many triad members have infiltrated the MCA just because of one person”.
Abdullah should not downplay the gravity of a MCA branch leader who is the target of a police nation-wide manhunt as a triad kingpin and the legitimate public concerns about his relationship with the MCA President and whether MCA and the government have been tainted with triad activities.
While Abdullah is right that one should not assume from the incident that many triad members have infiltrated the MCA, it is also not right for the Deputy Prime Minister to publicly exonerate the MCA of triad activities without a professional and impartial police investigation.
MCA Youth leader, Datuk Ong Tee Keat had given Abdullah two names in March this year to substantiate his allegation of triad influence in the MCA, although the then MCA President, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik was relieved and surprised that Ong only gave two names.
Abdullah should clarify whether “Jackie Chan” was one of the two names given to him by Ong in March, and if so, the identity and outcome of the police investigation into the second name.
The nation-wide police alert and manhunt for “Jackie Chan” is proof that the Deputy Home Minister, Datuk Zainal Abdin Zin had misled Parliament last month when in answer to the question by the DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Kerk Kim Hock, he said that the police had found no evidence that the MCA members and top leaders were involved in triad activities.
Abdullah should clarify whether he had directed, authorized or had foreknowledge that Zainal would be misleading Parliament with a false answer in Parliament on June 16 in claiming that the police had found no involvement of any MCA leader or member in triad activities.
Would Abdullah instruct Zainal to publicly own up and apologise for a gross breach of parliamentary privilege in misleading Parliament on the issue, or whether he would agree to refer Zainal Abidin to the Parliamentary Privileges Committee for a full investigation to be conducted.
One important reason why Abdullah should not downplay the gravity of the police nation-wide manhunt for a MCA branch leader wanted as a triad kingpin is that the national interest must always override political party interests, including that of MCA.
All Malaysians know that opposition parties would be mercilessly attacked if they have a person like “Jackie Sam” as one of its branch leaders, with the police identifying him as a triad kingpin on the wanted list in a nationwide manhunt.
According to the Penang Criminal Investigation Department chief Senior Assistant Commissioner II Abdul Rahim Jani, ”Jackie Chan”’s triad, Sio Sam Ong, had been involved in international drug trafficking, kidnap, murder, robbery, extortion and illegal money-lending at its height. (The Star 17.7.03)
The press also reported that the triad was behind the slaying of six people in Taman Bersatu, Sungai Petani, in September 1992, and involved in at least 10 murders in Penang state in the late 80s and early 90s.
MCA President, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting said on Friday that the MCA Presidential Council tomorrow will discuss the involvement of a Penang MCA branch chairman in triad activities.
What has the MCA Presidential Council got to discuss on the issue when the Penang MCA chief, Wong Kam Hoong had declared that “Jackie Chan” “is innocent until proven guilty” and that “Although he is wanted by the police, until and unless he is found guilty, MCA will still recognize him as a MCA member and the Gurney Drive branch chairman”?
Abdullah said yesterday that the probe is on “Jackie Chan” and not MCA, but the DPM should realize that the nation and public are equally if not more concerned about triad activities, infiltration and influence in MCA, in particular the relationship of the MCA President with triad kingpins.
Ong Ka Ting, for instance, should clarify whether he only came to know about “Jackie Chan”’s triad activities after the police nation-wide alert last week, although he was the Deputy Home Minister from 1995 to 1996 at a period when “Jackie Chan” was detained in Simpang Rengam.
What is intriguing is the statement by the MCA Public Service and Complaints Department, Michael Chong today which virtually admitted that Ka Ting had a relationship with “Jackie Chan” when one Ong was in Simpang Rengan detention while the other Ong was Deputy Home Minister.
Ka Ting should come clean and make a full public statement of his relationship with “Jackie Chan” down the years, starting with their first contact and meeting.
As the issue of triad infiltration and influence of political parties and the government are matters of great national concern and public importance, the MCA Presidential Council tomorrow should ask the Cabinet on Wednesday to establish a high-powered Commission of Inquiry to clear the MCA and MCA President of triad infiltration and influence following the police nation-wide manhunt for a MCA branch leader as triad kingpin
One other thing the MCA Presidential Council should do tomorrow is to clear the name of the MCA Youth leader by revoking the stern warning which it had administered to Ong Tee Keat as disciplinary action, as the MCA Youth chief had been fully vindicated in his allegation of “black gold” politics and triad infiltration and influence in MCA following the nation-wide police alert and manhunt for a MCA branch leader as a triad kingpin.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman