By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, July 27: Michael Kong, the special assistant to Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen asserts he was merely expressing a personal opinion in an allegedly defamatory statement about Sarawak Federation of Chinese Associations president Datuk Richard Wee.
Apart from stressing that he was only expressing a personal opinion, Kong pointed out that he did not tell Wee to stop criticising Pakatan Harapan (PH) or praise Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).
“In respect to the issue of freedom to address one’s personal opinion, likewise, I was merely stating my personal opinion towards the issue.
“At no time did I tell Dato Richard Wee that he has (to) stop criticising PH and/or praise GPS.
“In fact, I re-emphasised that DAP (especially me) respects the freedom of speech under the Federal Constitution but that any hint of inclination or possible bias must be laid out to avoid any misunderstandings or misconceptions by the public. This is in particular to community leaders such as Dato Richard Wee.
“Like Dato Richard Wee and YB Wong King Wei, I too was merely issuing a personal opinion,” the Sarawak Demoratic Action Party (DAP) leader reiterated in a statement today.
Meanwhile, Kong also expressed surprise to be named in DAP Padungan assemblyman Wong King Wei’s statement of resignation which the latter made public yesterday (July 26, 2020).
“It was surprising that I was named in YB Wong King Wei’s announcement on 26.07.2020. There was an implied comment that my Facebook post on 21.07.2020 was devised by DAP leaders and this is totally untrue.
“All statements that I post on my Facebook page are written by me. To suggest otherwise is totally inaccurate and casts unnecessary aspersions that I am merely a pawn for other’s doing. I will never allow myself to be one,” Kong asserted.
He disclosed he has known Wong a little over three years and they were both involved in the case of former Pujut assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choo versus the Sarawak Legislative Assembly Speaker and four others and later on, in more cases.
“With all said and done, I can only thank YB Wong King Wei for what he had done for the people in Padungan.
“As a fellow who dearly loves Sarawak, I believe we both will agree that GPS is not the way forward. As stated by YB Wong King Wei, he merely feels against the manner of execution but not the principles of the party as a whole,” Kong added.
Kong’s statement came following Wong’s resignation yesterday and Wee’s statement that he would be taking legal action against him over his allegedly defamatory post on social media.
In Wong’s resignation statement, he referred to Kong’s statement on Wee as a case of point to show that DAP disallowed dissenting voices and had a lack of inclusivity in taking other viewpoints or opinions.
Wee issued a statement today expressing legal action is being taken against Kong for the alleged defamatory statement posted on social media on July 21, 2020.
Wee had earlier told a local daily that it is likely that more urban and Chinese voters in Sarawak will support GPS in the upcoming Sarawak election due to the commitment shown by the coalition to fight for Sarawak’s rights.
In response to Wee’s opinion, Kong released a statement that Wee should declare his personal and business interests with the current GPS government particularly Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB).
Kong stated that Wee has been business partner of PBB deputy secretary-general Datuk Ibrahim Baki.
“Therefore, it is obvious that Dato Richard Wee is closely connected to PBB through his business connection.
“With such a close business background and connection with PBB, it is only natural that Dato Richard Wee would want to see the continued victory of PBB in the coming Sarawak State Elections,” Kong had opined. — DayakDaily