DAP rep to face panel over graft

By Desiree Tresa Gasper, The Star

DAP’s Bentayan assemblyman Gwee Tong Hian has been referred to the party’s disciplinary committee for allegedly misappropriating funds intended for social service.

Johor DAP chairman Dr Boo Cheng Hau said party’s annual convention here yesterday had endorsed the state committee’s decision to refer Gwee to the disciplinary panel.

The resolution was passed with 59 people voting for and 14 against, he said.

Dr Boo said the state committee had previously passed a vote of no-confidence against Gwee on Sept 13.

He added that the state DAP had been struggling with this issue the past three years.

“The allegations have not only caused stress among grassroots members but have also hurt the party in general,” he said.

Asked whether this would cause a split in the party, he said it was unlikely as 80% of the delegates supported the decision.

Senai assemblyman Ong Kow Meng, who was also at the press conference, said the decision showed the party did not condone such actions.

He also added that, for now, there was no possibility that Gwee would be sacked from the party.

“We just hope that he will learn from his mistakes and reform,” said Ong.

Asked for details of the amount allegedly mishandled, Dr Boo and Ong declined to say.

“We cannot touch on the irregularities as Gwee is currently involved in a suit at the Muar Sessions Court,” said Dr Boo.

Gwee refused to comment on the matter.

Asked whether he would quit the party, he replied: “I will always be a DAP member.”

The delegates passed 18 resolutions.

Among the resolutions tabled were calls to push the government for better crime prevention, reduced dependency on foreign workers, revive the city and to investigate the possibility of corruption or abuse of power leading to Johor having only 18% of forest reserve left.

Other resolutions called for the state government to hire more non-Malays in the public sector, to gazette places for worship and improve the transportation sector.