KUALA LUMPUR: MCA has sent a legal notice to Chong Zhemin, asking the DAP Keranji assemblyman to publicly apologise over his allegations that MCA had misappropriated RM150mil for a hospital project in Kampar or face legal action.
MCA publicity deputy chairperson Chong Yew Chuan said the letter was sent to the assemblyman’s office in Kampar on Wednesday.
“YB (Yang Berhormat) is to publish a full withdrawal and apology, subject to MCA’s approval, on his website or any other medium in which he had published the baseless allegations and the newspapers within seven days, ” Yew Chuan told a press conference at Wisma MCA yesterday.
Besides giving an undertaking not to repeat the allegations, Yew Chuan said MCA would also seek damages from Zhemin for tarnishing the party’s reputation.
The party, he added, was taking legal action against Zhemin after he failed to retract and apologise for the allegations despite repeated calls to do so.
“We had also urged him to lodge a report with MACC to investigate the matter, but he refused, ” Yew Chuan said.
He added that the Health Ministry had since debunked Zhemin’s claims.
Last Friday, Zhemin made the allegations on his blog through an article titled “MCA hijack RM150mil allocation by cancelling Kampar government hospital to build UTAR private hospital”.
On Jan 4, Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon, the former Perak executive councillor in charge of health in 2017, demanded that Zhemin resign as an assemblyman if he refused
to apologise and could not back up his allegations with strong evidence.
On Tuesday, the ministry issued a statement debunking Zhemin’s claims.
The ministry said the allocation, announced by then health minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai in 2012, was never disbursed and was still with the Finance Ministry after the Kampar government hospital project was cancelled in 2016 owing to unsuitability of the land to build the hospital.
It also confirmed that the project had since been revived under Budget 2020.
However, ownership of the land in Kampung Changkat Baru for the hospital project had yet to be resolved and transferred to the Federal Government for the purpose.