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KUCHING, Nov 22: Former Malaysian Pepper Board director Stanley Liew asserts that he was appointed by the Primary Industry and Commodities Ministry based on his merits and credentials.
In a press statement today, Liew said he answered to the second advertisement of the Board because there was no successful applicant for the job after the Board published its first advertisement.
“Pursuant to the second advertisement, I submitted my application for the job in November, 2018. There were 11 applicants shortlisted for interviews. After the interview, my application was presented to the Board Members for approval and thereafter to JPA (Jabatan Perkhimatan Awan). I was only appointed as the Ketua Pengarah of the Malaysian Pepper Board on 12th February, 2019 by the Minister of Primary Industry and Commodities.
“I believed that I was appointed based on my merits and credentials, and had nothing to do with the fact that I am the cousin-in-law of YB Chong Chieng Jen (former Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affair Minister, Stampin MP, Kota Sentosa incumbent). I was appointed by Minister of Primary Industry and Commodities whereas YB Chong Chieng Jen was the Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs who had nothing to do with my appointment. The process of my appointment was definitely also not ‘lightning speed’ as claimed by Mr Wong (Wong King Wei, former Sarawak Democratic Action Party or Sarawak DAP vice-president and Padungan incumbent) in Court.
“I have had 21 years’ experiences in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods industry. My last position in the industry was with Sebor Sarawak Sdn Bhd as a Divisional Manager responsible for 5 departments and 23 multinational agencies under my charge.
“I joined ASTRO in 1996 as a Regional Manager and retired in 2018 as Executive Vice-President taking charge of Sales and Marketing of Astro’s partnership in Indonesia. I hold a Master in Business Administration (MBA with distinction) post graduate degree from Durham University, UK.
“I am deeply puzzled and disturbed by Mr Wong’s erroneous testimony in Court and the newspaper report of his testimony, because my appointment to the position of Ketua Pengarah of Malaysian Pepper Board had nothing to do with the court case, and I have had ceased to hold the position since November 2020. I fail to understand how the defamation (case) between Richard Wee and Michael Kong has anything to do with my employment with the Malaysian Pepper Board.
“By issuing this press statement, I wish to put the record straight so that the public is not misled by Wong’s testimony and the press report of his testimony,” said Liew.
Liew also pointed out that Wong had wrongly quoted him as “chairman of a government agency”.
He reproduced part of the Court’s notes of proceedings recorded as follows:
“. . . There is another person by the name of Stanley, if I remember correctly, who is the cousin in law of Mr Chong Chieng Jen was appointed as a chairman of a government agency which I cannot recall the exact title of the agency, during the 22 months when PH government is in power. Such appointment can be done with lightning speed but not the fulfilment of the promise to the people. That is the thing that I pondered about deeply.”
Liew said, on cross examination by Chong whether Wong was aware that “there were former advertisements put up asking for Applicant for the position and that there were interviews conducted before the decision of employment was made”, Wong replied that he was not aware.
“In light of the adverse aspersions cast upon me by Wong’s testimony and the newspaper reporting as such, I felt that I must make this press statement to clear my name and set the record right,” said Liew.
Sarawak Federation of Chinese Association president Dato Richard Wee has filed a defamation suit against Chong’s special assistant Michael Kong over an alleged defamatory statement which was authored and published by Kong on July 21, 2020 on his Facebook page.
Wong testified in the Kuching High Court for the plaintiff in the defamation case on November 18 and 19.
Wee was represented by counsels Shankar Ram Asnani, Russell Lim and Yu Ying Ying while Kong was represented by his counsels Chong and Sim Kiat Leng. — DayakDaily