Cardiologist remains arrogant and defiant: says no reason to apologise or be ashamed

(NST) – A consultant cardiologist, who has come under fire after a video of him engaging in a verbal exchange with Penang Island City Council (MBPP) enforcement officers for defying the Movement Control Order (MCO) was viralled, has defended his action of not staying home.

Dr Ong Hean Teik maintained that he did nothing wrong and instead blamed the council for closing the Youth Park where he had gone for a jog despite the MCO.

Speaking to the New Straits Times in his clinic at Jalan Burma this afternoon, Dr Ong argued that the MCO was not a confinement order.

He also contended that it was the council which should apologise to him after its officers had taken the video of his altercation, which has since been widely shared all over.

“Personally, I feel that I have not done anything wrong. I don’t think there is a need for me to apologise or feel ashamed for what happened yesterday. In fact I feel MBPP owes me an apology. Do I deserve this scandal to tarnish my image…” he said.

Dr Ong was caught in a four-minute video clip arguing with enforcement officers that the MCO was not an curfew.

He said when he walked into the Youth Park at 4.45pm yesterday, there was no one to stop him from going in or any wire or string put up to indicate that the place was closed.

He admitted to not seeing a sign put up on the Youth Park’s closure.

The exchange with the enforcement officers happened about 6pm as he was leaving the place.

Dr Ong admitted that the MCO was put in place to prevent crowding which may result in the spread of Covid-19 virus. However, he argued that a lone walker, exercising, should not be considered as ‘crowding’.

“The purpose of the MCO is not to crowd. Now, the second thing is stay at home. Is that right? I feel that is wrong because we still need to exercise,” he said.

He expressed hope that more people would understand his explanation and why he was contesting the implementation of the MCO.

“People are criticising me and it is a burden that I have to bear.

“I know the MCO was introduced with good intentions but we need to relook at its implementation. If the legal people come out and say HT Ong has disobeyed the law, then I am willing to accept that I am wrong, say sorry and I will follow the stay at home order next time.

“Right now, I am not clear,” he said.