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Ong Chong Swen

王 锺 璇

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Wednesday April 18, 2012

Ong clears the air on MCA roadshow in SS19 Subang Jaya

By THO XIN YI
thoxinyi@thestar.com.my
Photo by MUHAMMAD SYAMIL JOHAR

 

Kelana Jaya MCA has refuted claims that it was recruiting phantom voters by assisting foreigners to apply for permanent residency and citizenship.

Its chairman, Ong Chong Swen, was responding to comments from Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh, who alleged the political party of the wrongdoing through her blog, Twitter account and a press conference.

“I strongly condemn Yeoh’s accusation. As a law graduate and people’s representative, she should not mislead the public and defame her political opponents without checking her facts,” Ong said.

In her blog post dated April 16, Yeoh drew attention to the MCA Roadshow in SS19, Petaling Jaya, last Sunday and alleged that a counter had been set up for foreigners to apply for permanent residency and citizenship.

http://starstorage.blob.core.windows.net/archives/2012/4/18/central/m_pg04ongyeoh.jpg

Annoyed: Ong condemns the accusation by Yeoh.

An accompanied photo showed the event flyer, which extended an invitation to those who are applying for PR and citizenship to meet Deputy Home Minister Datuk Lee Chee Leong at the roadshow.

Ong clarified that it was MCA’s ongoing effort to help locals and foreign spouses to apply for permanent residency and citizenship.

“We were informed that many people, be it Malay, Chinese or Indian, face the same predicament. They could not work or go overseas.

“In the last two years, MCA has helped tens of thousands of people to solve this problem and become Malaysian citizens,” she said.

She added that Lee suggested to them to set up the station during the roadshow for the public to enquire about the application process.

“Immigration Department officers were on hand to explain the details and distribute forms and brochures.

“We don’t know the exact number of visitors who dropped by the station that day but we believe no one submitted the form on the spot because they need to provide copies of necessary documents,” Ong said.

She added that three out of four successful people, who submitted their applications earlier, received their certificates from Lee during the event.

“We’re here helping the people and yet DAP is twisting the facts and stirring up people’s emotion,” she said.

Ong criticised Yeoh for not dropping by the roadshow to see the real situation before making the statements via Twitter.

“The event was still going on when she tweeted about it. She could have sent her assistants to the venue if she couldn’t make it herself,” Ong said.

Kelana Jaya MCA Youth chairman Lee You Hin said the wordings on the flyer might have led to a misunderstanding but it was impossible for MCA to help non-eligible foreigners to get permanent residency and citizenship.

A SS19 resident, Teo Yook Yeng, said he was roped in by Ong to help coordinate the station for the roadshow.

His handphone number was included in the event flyer as contact details, and he was unhappy that Yeoh had published the photo of the flyer in her blog.

“My number was intended for Subang Jaya residents only and not a nationwide audience,” a disgruntled Teo said.

Teo, who has lived in SS19 for over 20 years, said he received calls from people who wanted to find out more about the application after the 2,000 flyers were distributed, as well as after Yeoh blogged about the issue.

“Among the callers were Taiwanese mothers who are still holding red ICs although their children have already graduated from universities.

“I advised them to attend the roadshow to meet the relevant department. I only served as a platform to organise the event and help those in need,” he said.

Kelana Jaya MCA would make a police report over the matter.

When contacted, Yeoh said Ong’s response was “expected”.

“Is the population of foreign spouses and eligible non-citizens in Subang Jaya great enough for the deputer minister and Immigration Department to come for the purpose?” she asked.

Yeoh also claimed that there were phantom voters registered in Subang Jaya and the burden of proof was on the MCA.

On Teo’s frustration, Yeoh said the flyers were distributed publicly.

“They shouldn’t complain if their aim is to help the people,” she said.

 

 

 

 
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