Tuesday 27 March 2012

Wee was not assaulted, say police and organisers

Despite the claim by Deputy Education Minister Wee Ka Siong that he was almost ‘punched’ during Sunday’s Kajang rally over Chinese education, both Selangor police chief Tun Hisan Tun Hamzah and the rally organisers have denied that anyone had been assaulted.

NONEAccording to reports in several Chinese dailies, Tun Hisan yesterday said his men who were stationed at the rally had reported to him that Wee was not assaulted at all throughout the rally.

“No, he was not assaulted...,” he was quoted as saying by China Press, adding that the police will not investigate the case as no report was lodged.

Wee’s unexpected visit to the rally at the New Era College in Kajang, organised by Chinese education group Dong Zong to protest the shortage of Chinese-educated teachers for Chinese schools, caused a commotion.

He held a press conference after leaving the rally and claimed that a middle-aged man wearing a T-shirt attempted to punch him.

Although the policemen escorting him tried to stop the attacker, the punch still touched his cheek, said Wee.

However, Dong Zong deputy president Chow Siew Hong told Sin Chew Daily that the organisers had reviewed the footage recorded during the rally but found no such assault.

He said Dong Zong had hired an external video recording team to film the rally together with its internal video team, and both teams had given special attention to Wee when he arrived at the rally.

“We have watched the footage on computers. At that time, many people also made recordings with their mobile phones. If they had caught the scene showing Wee being assaulted, it would have been widely circulated,” he was quoted as saying.

Chow, who was the chief organiser for the rally, expressed doubt over Wee’s claim because Wee did not complain to him or Dong Zong president Yap Sin Tian when they met on stage.

“If he was really assaulted, how could he act like nothing had happened and participate in the rally? He only called a press conference after the rally and claimed he was assaulted. It is a bit strange,” he said.

Chow stressed that the possibility of Wee being assaulted is very slim as he was escorted by over 100 policemen including plainclothes officers as well as 60 personnel from the People’s Volunteers Corps (Rela) when he arrived at the rally.

The organiser will review the footage again, and if necessary, Dong Zong will invite media to watch the unedited recordings and hand over the foortage to the police, he said.

Chow also urged Wee to lodge a police report to clear the name of Dong Zong and other peaceful participants.

Allegation sparks uproar

Wee’s allegation sparked an uproar, with MCA leaders issuing several statements the next day to condemn the assault, blaming Pakatan Rakyat for “indirectly contributing” to the assault.

Wee, who is also MCA Youth chief, magnanimously said he has forgiven the attacker and will not lodge any police report over the matter.

However, some of his supporters have decided not to let the matter rest.

According to Sin Chew Daily, leaders from the Kuantan MCA division lodged three reports demanding that the police arrest and charge the attacker.

The reports made at Kuantan have been transferred to the Kajang police.

Kajang police chief Abdul Rashid Abdul Wahab told the Chinese daily that the investigating officer will study the incident before deciding to summon those involved including Wee, the rally organisers and eyewitnesses.

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