Sunday, September 22

Masing unfazed by opposition’s MACC report

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KUCHING: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Dr James Masing is unfazed by the latest political development after state Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Women lodged a report against him and vice-president Datuk Mong Dagang with the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission.

Masing, also Land Development Minister, said the state PKR, and even DAP, which started the issue, were only doing ‘publicity stunt’ to fish for votes now that the general election is around the corner.

On one of two letters which the PKR Women tendered to the MACC yesterday, Masing said Mong had no authority to request for land and “therefore he (Mong) has done nothing wrong”.

“Ignorance of procedures is not a crime. The application, I was told, was rejected. So what is the issue,” he said in reference to the letter issued several years ago and which also had mentioned the name of Masing’s brother Henry Yan.

On the other letter which Mong wrote requesting that the State Agriculture Department terminate subsidies to a pro-opposition and handicapped farmer, Masing said: “The DAP is just making publicity stunt. Just ignore them.”

State PKR Women members led by national vice-chairperson Voon Shiak Ni lodged the report with the MACC against the two Barisan Nasional (BN) strong men following a complaint against Mong by the DAP in Sri Aman.

The DAP said Mong had no right to deprive a physically challenged farmer, Frusis Lebi, of government subsidies by writing a letter requesting the same to the Agriculture Department.

Masing and many headmen in Sri Aman subsequently came forward to defend Mong, saying that Frusis was a hardcore opposition member.

An officer of the Welfare Department even SMSed Masing stating that welfare assistance (including probably subsidies) was a privilege (or gift) and was not a right.

At a function here yesterday, Minister of Welfare, Women and Family Development Datuk Fatimah Abdullah clarified that Mong’s letter to the Agriculture Department was issued much latter than the termination of Frusis’ welfare assistance.

Fatimah said Frusis was a well-to-do person.

Mong is Bukit Begunan assemblyman while Masing is Baleh assemblyman.