Wednesday 28 March 2012

Was Lee the assailant? Wee keeps 'em guessing

Deputy Education Minister Wee Ka Siong has refused to confirm or deny whether his purported assailant is Lee Siak Taa, a senior citizen who was photographed with his hand just centimetres away from Wee’s face.

NONELee lodged a police report today to deny that he had tried to punch Wee. He claimed that he was merely showing Wee the thumbs-down.

Met at the Parliament lobby today, Wee was repeatedly asked if Lee was indeed the assailant he was referring to.

“Have I ever said it was this man?” Wee said three times. “Since the incident happened, have I ever said that this man tried to punch me?”

Wee had alleged that someone had attempted to punch him during the Chinese education rally on Sunday organised by Dong Zong.

Following this, pictures depicting Lee gesturing at Wee during the rally began circulating widely on the Internet.

Lee, a 65-year-old retired carpenter, today lodged a police report to deny that had he had tried to punch Wee and that he was giving him the thumbs-down.

‘I will tell all to cops’

Wee stressed that he he could remember the features of the alleged assailant but will only reveal more to the police.

He said that his bodyguard and others will be able to provide the police with a detailed account of what happened, which need not be reported.

“I don’t need the media to write every word about such things. There is no meaning in doing so. Let the police probe this professionally.

“Everything is still fresh in my memory. I will tell the police many more exciting things. The press can take a break... If I tell you everything, it could fill up two or three pages (of news reports).

“Can problems facing Chinese education be faced in this way?” he said.

‘I did not say I was punched’

Wee also stressed that he has never said that he was “punched”, but instead explained that someone had formed a fist and tried to punch him.

He said that although the punch had not landed, he did feel a touch on the cheek.

He claimed that it was the Chinese press which explicitly stated that he was “assaulted” and that the press had every right to interpret what he said.

Also, he repeated three times that he did not state that he was “assaulted” when he called a press conference after the rally.

“I remember the statement that I made. (I said) somebody tried to punch me but only touched my face,” said Wee.

Wee was repeatedly asked during the press conference whether he had claimed that he was being punched.

‘Was he wearing party colours?’

Quizzed about whether he had once said that the alleged assailant was wearing party colours, Wee refused to provide a direct answer.

“I will give all the details to the police on how I noticed this person... I know. I have not forgotten. I know where he is from.

“You will ask if the person was bearing a party logo. I know. So I will be very careful,” said Wee.

He said that he will explain to the police why he believed the person was involved with a political party.

Meanwhile, Wee said that he will not take up Lee’s challenge to partake in a ritual which involves sacrificing a cockerel.

“If you cut off a cockerel’s head, is there a scientific or religious reason to it? Your religion is not necessarily mine.

“Secondly, I’m the deputy education minister. Should I accept challenges from just anyone?” asked Wee.

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