Is this one more shit about to hit the fan?

This matter was raised two years ago. But the Petaling Jaya council (MBPJ) staff complain that their hands are tied because ex-councillor Dr Ong Kim Chong has strong links with certain top guns in DAP and is therefore ‘immune’. This may be true or it may not. But what they are whispering in MBPJ is not good for the image of DAP. And since DAP is concerned about its image then maybe it should clarify the matter.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Vested Interests theory partially true

PETALING JAYA residents believe that having connections within the local council was and may still be the way to expedite approvals.

They are convinced that this is the reason why billboards have mushroomed in the city, including some put up over the last two months, despite the Selangor government’s directive to freeze all billboard applications.

This theory was partly proven when All-Petaling Jaya Selangor Residents Associations Coalition (APAC) chairman Liew Wei Beng discovered that a former MBPJ councillor was a director of a billboard company.

The ex-councillor involved, Dr Ong Kim Chong (, admitted that he held both positions at the same time but insisted there was nothing wrong with it.

He said he was a councillor from 1998 to 2004 (three terms) but the applications for outdoor advertising were submitted in 2005. Moreover, he had handed company matters over to his son since then.

“No billboard applications could be passed without going through two sets of assessments – one at the planning committee stage and the other at the full council meeting,” he said.

“There were 24 councillors at any one term, why do they want to single me out?”

“Anyway, if it was that easy to use connections to get things done, anyone would have been good friends with the council officials. On top of that, you think a councillor, who holds only a small position in the political hierarchy, is so powerful?” he asked.

Dr Ong said he had been the director of the 30-year-old company that used to deal with farming and fishing.

“Business was bad so we decided to venture into outdoor advertising. No law prohibits us from doing that anyway, so why not?”

“Councillors were only paid RM750 monthly as an allowance, what’s wrong with us doing business at the same time?” he said.

He also refuted allegations that he used his influence to buy over some state land.

He said the billboards were only built recently as the council had told him to put things on hold until 2007 due to a law suit and the General Election further delayed the process.

Dr Ong insisted that the company had obtained all permits. However, when asked about the Temporary Occupancy Licence (TOL), he said it was not mandatory back then.

“We have paid more than RM100,000 for all sorts of fees to put the billboards up. It is legitimate, we have done nothing wrong,” he said.

He added that his son had written to Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua to explain the matter.

Liew, when contacted, said it was clear conflict of interest and abuse of position.

“It now involves 24 billboards put up within two months. MBPJ and the councillors in the present administration should seriously look into all these relationships hidden behind the billboard applications,” he said. — Media Pertiwi, December 2008