Former PKR MP cries ‘political revenge’ after police action on his Facebook post

Tan Tee Beng speaks to reporters in George Town January 14, 2019. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Tan Tee Beng speaks to reporters in George Town January 14, 2019. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, Jan 14 — A former PKR MP has alleged that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government is using strong arm tactics to silence dissent after his mobile phone was seized by police last week over a social media post that he made.

Tan Tee Beng, who was Nibong Tebal MP, believed the police action against him was a form of “political revenge”.

“They are misusing the police to oppress the common people’s right to freedom of speech when the police should be focusing on investigating serious crimes,” he told a press conference today.

Tan said he had posted a Chinese language post on Facebook noting a Givenchy jacket that the son of a minister was wearing.

“The post was not defamatory. I did not allege that the jacket was the result of corruption or that it was beyond what the political leader can afford,” he said in a press conference today.

He said his post only reminded the minister to take care of the welfare of the grassroots.

Tan said the police called him to inform him that a police report had been lodged against him over the post.

“The police from Putrajaya came to Penang to record my statement on January 10 and they took my mobile phone as it was used to post on Facebook,” he said.

Tan said the police did not tell him who lodged the report except that it was lodged in Putrajaya.

He said based on this, whoever lodged the report must have worked or lived in Putrajaya, was able to read Chinese and is somehow related to what he had posted.

Tan challenged the person who lodged the report to face him in the public domain.

“I posted it on my public social media under my name so the person who lodged the report must be man enough to face me instead of hiding behind the police report,” he said.

He said the police now have his mobile phone which contained sensitive personal information and family pictures.

“This is related to my privacy. What if my family pictures were used when I’ve always kept pictures of my family private even when I was an MP?” he said.

He said the mobile phone is no longer in his possession so anyone could have planted something in it such as pornography and accused him of possessing pornography.

Tan also alleged that on the same day as his Facebook post, on December 20 last year, two officers from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) went to his home in Gurney Drive.

“They came to my condominium claiming that there was a high frequency device that was disrupting the frequency of UMobile but I was not at home at that time, so I told them to come back on the next day,” he said.

He said the MCMC officers returned to his home on December 21 and using a frequency detection device, claimed his cordless phone was emitting a high frequency.

“They told me that someone had lodged a report a month earlier about frequency issues with UMobile somewhere in Tanjung Tokong but I find it amazing that they can trace it down to my unit,” he said.

He believed that the MCMC visit to his home was related to his Facebook post on the minister’s son and meant to intimidate him.

Tan said previously that when he was a PKR MP between 2008 and 2010, he had openly criticised the then-Barisan Nasional government but he had never had any visits from the police.

“I was very critical but there were no police cases against me then but now, it’s different. Isn’t it a new government that’s supposed to be different?” he asked.

Tan was the Nibong Tebal MP between 2008 and 2013.

He resigned from PKR in 2010 and was an independent MP until 2013.

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