PKR to probe ‘cocky, arrogant, tokong’ issue

The party is expected to conduct an internal inquiry to find out the culprits who leaked details of a closed-door meeting.

Athi Shankar, FMT

Penang PKR may conduct an internal preliminary fact-finding inquest soon to zoom in on the culprits who leaked details of an internal meeting.

All seven members, who attended the exposed casual meet-up with the party’s Penang chief and Deputy Chief Minister I Mansor Othman, are expected to be called up.

Sources said the eight-man state party political bureau, currently headed by Mansor, may be tasked to carry out the fact-finding mission.

But being a material witness to the case, Mansor is expected to recuse himself from the hearing to avoid a conflict of interests as he would testify before the panel.

Sources said party state vice chairman and state assembly speaker Abdul Halim Hussain could head the panel that would shed some light on the controversy, which had embarrassed Mansor.

The panel might constitute other bureau members including party state deputy chairman Law Choo Kiang, vice chairman Abdul Malik Kassim, secretary Mustafa Kamal, information chief Johari Kassim, Batu Uban assemblyman S Raveentharan and councillor Francis Joseph.

It was not clear whether Law would sit on the panel since he also attended the leaked meeting.

A top PKR official said the inquiry would compile facts and evidence from all witnesses and submit them to the party top brass for further action, probably disciplinary action.

When contacted, a possible witness told FMT that “the whole picture would be clearer after the inquiry”, while another confirmed he would attend and testify because he had nothing to hide.

The seven who met Mansor in the closed-door discussion were state PKR deputy chief Law Choo Kiang, Bukit Bendera division deputy chief Felix Ooi Keat Hin, Bayan Baru vice chairman Tan Seng Keat, 2004 candidate for Bayan Baru federal and Batu Uban state seats – Raymond Ong Ting Cheow, Tanjung Youth chief Ng Chek Siang; Bayan Baru member Cheah Peng Guan and Mansor’s special assistant John Ooh Sin Hwa.

Notable absentees were assemblymen Jason Ong Khan Lee of Kebun Bunga, Tan Hock Leong of Machang Bubok, Sim Tze Tzin of Pantai Jerejak and Ong Chin Wen of Bukit Tengah.

The internal meeting was apparently held to discuss seat allocations for the party’s Chinese candidates in Penang.

But leaked details revealed that Mansor had allegedly referred to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng as being “cocky, arrogant and tokong (deity)”.

The leaked details were first published in June postings of a blog called “Gelagat Anwar”.

Mansor had initially denied chiding Lim as “cocky ad arrogant” but admitted to have used the word “tokong” in a positive note.

TV3 airs audio recording

But much to his dismay, the matter reared its ugly head again when an audio recording of the meeting details was aired on TV3.

This time the Penanti assemblyman did not deny its contents but rather mused on how much the TV station paid to obtain the recording.

Two conspiracy theories had emerged since the issue cropped up.