Dr Sim vs Chong: MPP chairman called as witness


Tan (second right) speaks with Wong (left) and Shankar (right).

KUCHING (May 25): Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) chairman Tan Kai has been called as the 10th witness in the defamation suit filed by Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian against Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chieng Jen at the High Court here today, regarding fund allocation for Covid-19 food aid in 2020.

After Tan’s examination-in-chief, the court fixed July 18 and 19 to continue with the suit.

Earlier, before he was called to the stand, former Padungan rep Wong King Wei testified in the re-examination by the plaintiff’s counsel Shankar Ram, who asked why he was willing to be a witness in the suit.

Wong said he was approached by the plaintiff’s counsel to be his witness for the reason that his name was mentioned by Deputy Minister for Education, Innovation and Talent Development I Datuk Dr Annuar Rapaie in his press statement on April 12, 2023.

Shankar then asked Wong why he said: “I remember the defendant stated that this is a political competition between Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) and the state government, particularly against Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP)”.

Wong said they were instructed by the defendant to go faster than the state government to the ground to distribute the food aid in order to undermine the state government’s good effort in helping the people in terms of distributing food aid to those in need.

“The intention of the defendant was to win the political competition over the state government, particularly SUPP.

“This was meant to paint an adverse impression against the Sarawak government and SUPP that they are inefficient and not caring enough for the people so that DAP and the defendant can gain political mileage in this case,” said Wong.

In 2020, Dr Sim, who is also SUPP’s president, filed the suit after Chong alleged that he (Dr Sim) had failed to manage food aid worth RM800,000 meant for four opposition-held state constituencies – Padungan, Batu Lintang, Pending and Kota Sentosa.

Representing Dr Sim is lawyer Shankar, who is assisted by Yu Ying Ying and Russell Lim.

Chong is represented by lawyers Michael Kong, Chong Siew Chiang and Brenda Chong.

The defamation suit is heard before Judge Dr Alwi Abdul Wahab.