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Sarawak UMNO executive secretary Datuk Yaakob Mohammad, 58, sponsored deposit of security in the hearing of election petition for seat of Kuching for petitioner Kho whereby DAP won over BN-SUPP with a majority of 9952 votes in the recent General Election.

Party executive secretary tells court there is no need for petitioner to repay additional deposit
Source Borneo Post Online
KUCHING: The Bandar Kuching election petition can proceed after Umno yesterday bore the additional deposit imposed by the court on the petitioner, Kho Whai Phiaw.

RM70,000 DEPOSIT: Ling (right) submits a cheque at the counter in the presence of Kho.

Counsel Henry Ling received RM70,000 from Umno on Monday and he yesterday made the required payment in the form of a cheque around 2pm at the High Court Registrar here.

Had Kho failed to pay the deposit, the court would have dismissed the case.

Umno executive secretary Datuk Yaakob Mohammad, 58, had on Monday informed the Election Court here that the party was prepared to assist Kho in the hope of clearing the image of the party.

Yesterday, during cross-examination by Counsel Wong Ho Leng, Yaakob said “that Umno is sponsoring Kho in respect of this additional deposit of RM70,000″.

Wong: Do you know is there any written agreement between Kho (and Umno)?

Yaakob: No.

Wong: Therefore am I right to say it is a full sponsorship, that there is no need for Kho to repay the additional RM70,000 security?

Yaakob: Yes.

Wong: This money comes from the Umno fund, I presume?

Yaakob: Yes.

Although Kho had deposited a sum of RM10,000 when filing the petition, the application for the order of additional security of costs submitted by Chong Chieng Jen’s (the respondent) leading counsel, Chan Kok Keong, was allowed on July 11.

That day, judge Datuk Clement Allan Skinner ruled the sum had to be deposited on or before July 22 (yesterday). If he defaulted, the petition would be dismissed.

He said the decision was properly made in view of the number of charges levelled against the respondent in the petition which Chong will be required to rebut. “Which as I can already see is not going to lead to a short trial,” the judge said.

On April 28, Kho filed the petition at the High Court Registry seeking a court order to declare the result of election in Bandar Kuching parliamentary constituency null and void so that a by-election would be held.

In the parliamentary polls on this March 8, Chong garnered 22,901 votes to defeat Sim by 9,952-majority votes in a straight contest.

Yesterday, the hearing continued with the cross-examination of Yaakob from Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur by Chong’s counsel Wong Ho Leng.

Wong: Can you tell this court when was the first time you met with Kho?

Yaakob: About 20 minutes ago outside the courtroom.

Wong: Can we know who asked you to come to this court to testify?

Yaakob: The lawyer, Shafee.

Wong: Can you tell us was it the lawyer or was it Umno who asked you to come to court to testify?

Yaakob: Upon the request of Dato’ Shafee and upon getting the consent from Umno, I come to testify.

Wong: This petition concerns a Sarawak election. Can we know from you who are the MPs from Sarawak you spoke to?

Yaakob: The discussion was unofficial at the Dewan Rakyat cafeteria.

Wong: In Kuching city area, do you know that there is another constituency called Stampin?

Yaakob: I am not well versed with the areas in Kuching… but I have heard the name Stampin.

Wong: Do you know Yong Khoon Seng, who is the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) candidate elected in the Stampin constituency during the 2008 Parliamentary Election?

Yaakob: I do not know.

Wong: YB Yong is also the Works Ministry Deputy Minister?

Yaakob: I do not know.

Yaakob affirmed that he came to Sarawak to testify without knowing that in Kuching area there are two parliamentary seats.

When Wong asserted that Yaakob had not done enough homework before coming to Sarawak, the latter disagreed.

Wong made the same remark again when he was said to have established that Yaakob did not know the SUPP candidates who won in the Parliamentary election in 2008. Again, Yaakob disagreed with it.

Also, Wong pointed out to Yaakob (one of the allegations in the Petition which sounds “It is Umno who demolishes Hindu temples…”) that what Yaakob said before did not seem to corroborate with the information gathered.

Yaakob on Monday told the court that from his record obtained from Shah Alam Municipal Council whereby a case of demolishing a Hindu temple at Kapar Mukim Kelang in Selangor was allowed by court order, what had happened was in accordance to procedures of law as it was built without approval from the authorities.

“Thus it is not fair in trying to instigate the Indians to trigger their anger towards Umno and the government. This is also influence and poison…the Hindu voters in Kuching,” he said.

Wong asked if Yaakob was aware that in 2006 alone, 12 Hindu temples in Klang Valley (out of four were more than 100 years old while the bulk of others more than 60 years old) were demolished by local council, Yaakob said he did not know.

Wong said that 31 demolition notices had been issued that year.

Earlier, the court proceeded with the 11th prosecution witness upon application by Kho’s counsel.

Datuk Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, the leading counsel for Kho told the court that the witness had travelled from Sibu and wished to complete his evidence before travelling to Kuala Lumpur, which was allowed.

Wong Kee Leong, 55, a printer from Sibu, testified that he was the managing director for a printing company which was asked to print the manifesto published by Democratic Action Party (DAP).

When cross-examined by Wong Ho Leng on who paid for the expenses incurred in coming to court to testify, Kee Leong said he received the subpoena and it came together with the air ticket and hotel fees.

Wong: You received payment without knowing from whom?

Kee Leong: That’s right.

Questions on unfairness relating to issues of local Chinese education were also raised by Wong.

Wong: Do you know as a fact that the Sarawak Government does not provide annual allocation to Chinese schools in Sarawak?

Kee Leong: That I am not clear but I did read from the newspaper reports regarding Chinese schools not being given fair allocation.

Wong: Do you think it is fair?

Kee Leong: Not fair.

Wong: Have you ever read news reports that top Chinese students have not been given JPA scholarships? Do you think that is fair?

Kee Leong: Yes. Not fair.

Kee Leong also replied that he heard or read news reports that many top Chinese students were not offered courses of their first choice in local universities.

When he wasmined by Kho’s counsel Henry Ling, he told the court that he was not sure whether the news he read were correct or not. He just read from the newspaper. He also advanced that he did not know the re-exareason for Chinese top students not being given JPA scholarships nor did he know the reason for them not being offered the courses of their first choice.

Chong is also represented by Chong Siew Chiang and Alvin Yong.

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