DAP MP asks if endorsement letters in exchange for support a ‘halal culture’ under PN govt

Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching is pictured at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur July 16, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching is pictured at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur July 16, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 11 — Former deputy education minister Teo Nie Ching today questioned the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government if it is “halal” for its leaders to offer endorsement letters to their supporters. 

The DAP Kulai MP was referring to a video that recently went viral in which Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal allegedly offered endorsement letters in exchange for support during party election. 

Teo also spoke about the current corruption charges against Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng and his wife, Betty Chew, questioning as to how the authorities can be seen as being efficient in charging Chew, while Umno Youth’s exco member, Wan Muhammad Azri Wan Deris remains at large after defaming Lim’s son.

“I want to ask, have support letters now become halal under the PN government? And for a deputy minister to say he will give support letters to his supporters, isn’t it an act to solicit support, and isn’t this an offence?

“We have no problem if the other side wants to investigate us. Let us meet in court and I believe that Bagan MP and his wife will be proven in court that they are not guilty, but what’s most important is that if such cases involve members who come from Umno or those involved in PN, I hope our government agencies like the RMP (Royal Malaysia Police) and MACC (Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission), will take action,” she said.

In the viral video, Wan Ahmad Fayshal can be heard saying that he will issue endorsement letters in his capacity as deputy minister to help Bersatu Youth members in return for their support.

He is one of the candidates for the post of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) Youth chief in the upcoming party election scheduled for September 27.

In the 53-second-long video clip, Ahmad Fayhsal was also allegedly caught on camera saying that as Bersatu Youth chief, he will be able to make copies and present the endorsement letters to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also Bersatu president.

Towards the end of her speech in debating the Supplementary Supply (2019) Bill 2020, Teo also questioned the authorities as to how Wan Muhammad Azri was still free, despite police reports lodged against him.

“However, if we compare with a case which we had lodged a police report on, whereby  Umno Youth exco leader Wan Muhammad Azri Wan Deris, also known as Papagomo, he created fake news that Bagan MP’s son was caught for smuggling in RM2 million to Singapore.

“He was investigated under Section 505 of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) ... investigation papers have also been sent to the attorney general, but until today he has not been charged in court. So I want to ask, if this is not selective prosecution, then what is it?” Teo questioned.

Last week, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin said that the police have completed their investigation into individuals who falsely alleged that the son of former finance minister Lim Guan Eng was arrested with RM2 million in Singapore.

He disclosed this in a written parliamentary reply to Lim who asked him what action was being taken against Umno leaders who spread this false information.

Hamzah also said his ministry would not compromise with those spreading fake news.

The incident stemmed from a Chinese vernacular newspaper’s report in March alleging Lim’s son had been detained while trying to smuggle cash into the republic.

The newspaper subsequently published a retraction and apology.

Later the same month, Lim threatened to sue Wan Muhammad Azri who is also known as Umno blogger Papagomo, for defamation after the latter repeated the allegation that was then spread among the party and Barisan Nasional’s (BN) channels online.

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