By Teoh El Sen
PETALING JAYA: A former DAP leader has urged the party to take action against Selangor “blue-eyed boy” exco member Ronnie Liu, alleging that Liu was behind the "exposé" of the “letterhead” incident which led to the recent sacking of Klang municipal councillor Tee Boon Hock.
(DAP expelled Tee, who was also a former special assistant to Liu, from the party last Saturday on grounds that he had allegedly abused Liu's letterhead and seal to secure contracts worth RM1.04 million to 15 companies. Tee has 14 days to appeal.)
The DAP man claimed that the whole fiasco was an elaborate plan to remove Tee as well as State Legislative Assembly Speaker Teng Chang Khim ahead of division and state party elections.
(Teng has been summoned by the DAP disciplinary committee to explain his controversial Tweeter posting over the dismissal.)
"This episode is bad for the party. The top party leaders should intervene and mediate in the dispute. They should accept everybody's views and not only those of blue-eyed boy Ronnie Liu. Listen also to Teng and Tee so that we can come clean and resolve everything," said the source, who wished to remain anonymous.
"I think Liu is the one who used The Star to expose this whole thing. It is best for him to step down and remain as an ordinary state assemblyman... he should focus on working with the people in Pandamaran, especially since Liu rode on Tee's support during the 2008 general election.”
According to the source, Liu apparently has very little grassroots support and had all the while relied on Tee's powerful influence in Klang.
The source said the two were always seen as allies until about a year ago when both had a fall-out. Liu started "sidelining" Tee even to the extent of removing him as Bukit Tinggi municipal councillor and giving him the "lesser" councillor position at Pulau Ketam.
"The party won handsomely in 2008, and I think from there, greediness crept in. This happens once you are in power, and once you taste an exco position... Liu was not gracious towards Tee. This time the infighting has become severe," said the source.
"Liu knew his faction is going to lose in the next party elections and is afraid he will have no power base in Selangor. He knew Tee was already going to the ground preparing for the state party elections and he commands good support.
“Word got to him (Liu) that Tee was impossible to defeat and the only way to stop him is to bring up this 'letterhead' issue.”
Touch n Go politicianAsked why Liu would bring up something that has his name on the letterhead, the source said: "It is detrimental to him, but he is a seasoned politician. He knows it's better to bring it up now rather than be embarrassed later on."
Describing Liu as a "street politician", the source dismissed him as a "touch and go" politician who just turns up for functions and does not try to understand the people's grouses.
The source said due to Liu's "questionable" performance as Pandamaran state assemblyman and as a state exco, many of his supporters have gone over to Teng and Tee.
"This mess is also an attempt to get rid of Teng. I won't be surprised if he is suspended for six months just so he can't contest the elections. I don't understand why Teng was always sidelined and why whatever decision he made was seen as biased, whereas whatever Liu's faction did was deemed right."
Meanwhile, a Klang grassroots leader said he was also convinced that Liu was the "main suspect" in the whole affair.
"The filing and photocopying of documents such as the letters of support can only come from the state assemblyman's office. If it was not Liu, then it was the people around him," he said on condition of anonymity.
He said Liu's relationship with Tee soured last year when Independent Wangsa Maju MP Wee Choo Keong alleged that Liu was connected to underworld characters and ex-MCA and Umno members.
"Apparently, the party leaders instructed Tee to monitor Liu then, and Liu got upset about it."
"The party members in Klang could not accept that he was mixing with the wrong crowd and hoped he would leave these people so as not to tarnish the party's image. Tee was then terminated as special assistant to Liu in 2009."
Tee has local support
However, the leader denied claims that Tee had aligned himself to Teng following the former's fall- out with Liu, saying that those were simply rumours created by Liu's camp.
"The whole of Klang knows that Tee, and not Teng or Liu, is the only one who enjoys grassroots support. Tee and his supporters are much like a third force in Klang, if not the whole of Selangor, and that's why he (Tee) was feared,” he said.
“The rumour that Tee was working with Teng to 'control Selangor' was probably created so that national leaders such as Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng would perhaps take drastic action against Tee," he added.
The source claimed Tee commands the support of over 25 branches in Klang and at least half in Selangor, because he is a person who does the right things for party members...
He said that Teng's "OMG" tweet was just a publicity stunt to gain prominence during this controversy.
The source also said grassroots leaders see the furore over the "letter of support" as more of a morality issue than a crime.
"There is nothing right or wrong here, and in Tee's case he was only supporting a few companies to be registered with the municipal council, and not directly getting any projects.
“He should have been suspended until the outcome of the police investigation. He should not have been sacked. DAP is not the court."
Meanwhile, Selangor police from the commercial crime investigation department have started questioning Liu and Tee over the alleged misuse of the letters of support.
Liu and Teng have also been summoned to appear before the DAP disciplinary committee on Aug 12 to explain their respective side of the story.