Kojadi chairman claims suspended from board for not being blindly loyal to MCA president

Julia Chan
Datuk Ng Peng Hay said July 22, 2019 his suspension was because he was not a blind follower of MCA president Datuk Wee Ka Siong (pic). — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, July 22 — After being sacked as chairman of MCA co-operative Koperasi Jayadiri Malaysia Bhd (Kojadi), Datuk Ng Peng Hay is now crying foul over his suspension from the board of directors.

Ng said that he was suspended from the board as of July 18 not because he acted against the interest of Kojadi, but because he was not a blind follower of MCA president Datuk Wee Ka Siong.

“I deeply regret the decision of the board members as there is clearly no evidence whatsoever that I had in any way acted in a manner which is prejudicial to the interests of Kojadi. I had served on the board for the last 23 years and had always acted in the best interests of Kojadi.

“Under Article 39 (2) (b) of the By-Laws of Kojadi, a board member may be suspended only when the majority of the board members are satisfied that the board member had acted in a manner which is prejudicial to the interests of Kojadi,” he said in a statement.

He said that his disagreement with Wee over co-operating with the authorities about the RM15 million grant from Yayasan 1MDB cannot be construed as being detrimental to Kojadi.

“Doing the right thing and co-operating with the authorities to ensure that Kojadi steers clear of criminal and civil sanctions was an act to protect and not jeopardize the interests of Kojadi,” he said, referring to the investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) into the RM15 million grant.

Ng listed down the chronology of events beginning a year ago in July before there was any public controversy over the RM15 million grant which he signed for on behalf of the co-operative.

During an emergency board meeting convened after the Finance Ministry asked companies who had links to 1MDB to return money received without waiting for their accounts to be frozen, Ng said the board decided to authorise the chairman to co-operate with the MACC, seek legal opinion and consult MCA president Wee on the matter.

He said he was making arrangements to meet with an MACC official, but before he could do so, Wee sent a message to all the board members, contrary to its previous agreement, which said: “In short, don’t attend any meeting interview with MACC until we meet up next week. Otherwise, it will be construed as defying the party instruction of an attempt to make Kojadi an independent entity and has no connection whatsoever with MCA. NO WAY! Hope all Kojadi directors will put Kojadi and MCA interest above all!”

He said it was then he decided to quit the party in protest.

“As a co-operative, Kojadi is an autonomous entity and should act independently. My duty as the chairman is to primarily protect the interests of Kojadi and that of the 60,000 members and also the 60 staff. I have to answer to the members of Kojadi and not to the MCA president.

“Also, my obligation as mandated by the board to co-operate with the authorities takes precedence over following the instructions of the MCA president with blind loyalty,” he said.

Ng said that it was clear Wee was taking the position that the RM15 million grant from Yayasan 1MDB was legal and should not be returned while usurping him as the new spokesperson for the co-operative and leading the co-operative on a collision course with authorities.

“My action of co-operating with the authorities on the RM15 million grant is clearly within the mandate given by the board on June 27 this year. The board should be supporting me for carrying out the mandate given by the board without any fear or favour.

“Regrettably, in carrying out the mandate given by the board, I have now been suspended by the very same board which gave me the said mandate,” he said.

He also said he was looking into taking legal action against Wee for defamation, claiming he had lied and gone against the board’s directive.

“I wish to emphatically state that I never informed Datuk Wee Ka Siong that I wanted to surrender the money to MACC on June 28. What I wanted to do was to meet with MACC to clarify Kojadi’s position and to seek MACC’s direction and guidance as mandated by the board.

“His allegation that I had lied is a baseless allegation, calculated with a pernicious motive to tarnish my reputation. As such, I fully reserve my rights to commence legal action against him for defaming my character and reputation,” he said.

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