KUALA LUMPUR: MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong will meet with all Kojadi board members today following accusations from the cooperative chairman that the party had interfered in the handling of a RM15mil grant.
Dispelling the allegations by Datuk Ng Peng Hay, Dr Wee made clear that the operations of Kojadi (Koperasi Jayadiri Sdn Bhd) were separate from MCA matters.
Although Kojadi’s operation was of concern to the party, which laid the cooperative’s bedrock 38 years ago, Dr Wee said it was important for all to know that its operation is separated from party matters.
“If he is unhappy about the board’s decision, he as the chairman should have brought it up with the board members.
“You can dislike Wee Ka Siong, but you should not hurt MCA. Why drag the party along?” he told reporters yesterday.
Ng had alleged that the MCA leadership had interfered with Kojadi’s decision over the handling of a RM15mil grant given to the cooperative by Yayasan 1MDB in 2012 to provide micro-credit for youths.
Ng, who quit MCA on Friday, claimed that the Kojadi board held an emergency meeting on Thursday during which the board directed him to meet the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) the next day “to clarify our position and seek its direction and guidance”.
This is in light of MACC’s filing of civil forfeiture suits to recover 1MDB funds.
Apparently, Ng insisted to return a partial amount of RM8mil while Dr Wee wanted to seek legal advice.
Kojadi’s 11 board members issued a joint statement late Thursday refuting Ng’s claim that the MCA leadership had interfered with their decision.
They also clarified that the board had decided to write to MACC again to follow up on the matter; and to further discuss it with the party leadership.
In fact, Kojadi had on its own accord informed MACC in January regarding details of the grant.
In response, the MACC had written back, indicating that all matters relating to 1MDB are still undergoing investigation.
Dr Wee related a phone conversation on Wednesday with Ng in which the Kojadi chairman claimed to him that MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya had informed him (Ng) about recovering the funds.
But Dr Wee said that Ng later claimed that it was Latheefa’s officer who spoke to him.
“After I asked again, he then said he got the information from his own sources. It clearly shows no formal or written request by the MACC was in place. And what he claimed was against the board’s resolution,” he said.
Dr Wee said that Ng’s statements had also created a wrong impression that he did not want Kojadi to return the grant.
“If the MACC thinks that Kojadi should return the money, then do so by all means.
“But since they have not said so, why should Ng act on his own to pay RM8mil and claim that the rest can be ‘settled’? I don’t believe that MACC will give a discount.
“In fact, the board wants him to have a talk with the party president before taking steps to meet with the MACC,” he said.
Dr Wee also noted that Kojadi had been told to treat the grant as income and had so far paid total taxes of over RM1mil.
“That is why I told him (Ng) not to act hastily and that we should consult our legal team first,” he said.