An MCA grassroots leader has accused outgoing party president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek (pic) of using legal means to intimidate him from exposing wrongdoing in the party.
MCA Safeguard Party Assets Action Committee chairman Datuk Yew Teong Look said he received a letter from Dr Chua's lawyer over an article in Chinese daily "Nanyang Siang Pau", where he had referred to an anonymous blog posting entitled, "Do forensic audit in Star Publications!" when he made allegations of misappropriation of party funds.
The legal letter dated October 28 described Yew's claims as "untrue", "irresponsible" and "damaging" to Dr Chua and The Star Media Group executive deputy chairman Tan Sri Vincent Lee's credibility.
Dr Chua and Lee demanded an assurance from Yew that he would not refer to the blog or the blog's articles.
Yew, who is also the MCA Wangsa Maju division chief, described the letter as a "warning" to stop him from exposing wrongdoing in the party.
He said it was an attempt by Dr Chua to intimidate him and to stop him from voicing out matters of concern to the party and members.
"He's trying to stop me from saying anything more. Such attempts will not frighten me. I will voice out matters to safeguard the party's interests," he told The Malaysian Insider.
Yew said he replied via his lawyer, stating that what he had exposed was not defamatory.
In the letter sent via his lawyer on November 1, Yew denied making any reference to the blog.
"In the circumstances, our client views your letter as an attempt by your clients to impede the discharge of our client's duty as chairman of the MCA Safeguard Party Assets Action Committee and to stifle further efforts by the committee to protect MCA assets," Yew's legal counsel, Kevin Seet, stated in his reply to Dr Chua and Lee's lawyer.
Yew had demanded answers on millions of ringgit allegedly left unaccounted for under Dr Chua's leadership.
These included RM212 million dividends from the 42% stake MCA holds in English daily "The Star" and the RM8 million sale of a donated piece of land in Bangi, Selangor, that was supposed to be the party's headquarters.
He also questioned the transfer of the RM1.28 billion Star Publications Berhad shares from MCA-owned property manager Huaran Trustees to MCA for tax purposes and changes in management of dividends from Wisma MCA.
"Why was the arrangement to safeguard good governance discontinued?" Yew had asked.
He said Yew, as a party leader, should act responsibly, instead of putting the party’s reputation at stake for his personal agenda.
Dr Chua revealed that the party’s assets had grown by RM107 million since he took over and that he had appointed tax and financial advisers to reorganise the party’s assets to be more tax efficient.
Dr Chua had said the move saved the party RM700,000 in taxes on its annual rent from Wisma MCA, while its stake in Star Publications increased from 41% to 42.4% in the last three years.
Secretary-general Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha confirmed that the sale of the Bangi land was approved by the central committee and presidential council.
“Everything is minuted and there is no such thing as any deals being struck in secrecy,” he was quoted as saying by "The Star". – December 6, 2013.