A senior lawyer says he felt threatened by a letter from CM's political secretary Ng Wei Aik over a legal representation.
A 56-year-old lawyer, Khoo Chye Beng, nearly broke into tears at a press conference here today when he narrated how he felt threatened by Ng’s letter to him dated May 21, 2012.
In that letter Ng has warned Khoo of “I will not hesitate to take further action against anyone who cannot uphold his/her professionalism by continuing to represent your client(s) for the legal suit.”
“In my 16 years in legal profession, I have never been threatened like this.
“I have discharged myself from several cases previously, but never been threatened by a political elected representative,” Khoo told newsmen at state Gerakan office.
Lawyers Baljit Singh, N Ahilan, Francis Goh and Abu Bakar As-Sidek were also present.
The letter was written using Ng’s assemblyman letterhead suggesting that it was sent in his official capacity.
Ng has rapped Khoo for discharging himself from representing a client, namely Tan Eng Hai, in a civil case of vacant possession.
Ng has rebuked Khoo for failing to file “Rekod Rayuan Tambahan” (additional appeal record) to the Court of Appeal with sealed order within two weeks from the date of receipt of notice dated Feb 8, 2012 until Tan’s appeal was dismissed by the Appellate Court.
Following the dismissal, Tan has been slapped with another suit by respondents; namely Neoh Poh Kim and two others.
Ng has strongly compelled Khoo show his professionalism by continuing to represent his client.
Ng claimed that Khoo should not have discharged himself so long Tan did not discharge him.
Khoo, who received the letter on May 22 hand-delivered by Tan, has lodged a police report on May 31 against Ng for threatening him.
He will file a complaint to the Bar Council and DAP national chairman and senior lawyer Karpal Singh, and also contemplating on whether to sue Ng for defamation.
“I feel threatened and intimidated by strong words in the letter forcing me to represent Tan, if not something could or would happen to me,” said Khoo in a choking voice controlling his tears.
He obtained a High Court order on May 24, two days after receiving Ng’s letter, to discharge himself from acting for Tan.
All five lawyers said under High Court rules, lawyers were allowed to discharge themselves from any case.
Baljit slammed Ng for unwarranted interference into legal profession when the DAP assemblyman has no business or power to do so.
“It seems now lawyers have to refer to Ng or other assemblymen before discharging themselves from a case.
“I hope Karpal will advice Ng on this,” said Baljit, on the behalf other lawyers.
When contacted, Ng said he and Tan would hold a joint press conference tomorrow to clarify the issue.
This is not first time Ng was caught in unwarranted controversy.
In January last year, he was accused of uttering racist statement “tutup kedai balik India” to a nasi kandar operator in Lebuh Macallum. Later Ng apologised to the restaurant operator.
Last August, Barisan Nasional Komtar coordinator Loh Chye Teik from MCA claimed he was threatened in Mandarin “ren tou luo” (heads roll down) by Ng for getting involved in eviction of a café in Jalan Anson.
Last November, Ng allegedly insulted two local women as “traitors to the country” for marrying Bangladesh nationals.
Ng also was in centre of a political storm when he allegedly threatened to “throw out” some Mamak stall holders from Komtar.
Last month, Ng was caught on camera allegedly uttering demeaning remarks during a council raid at a construction site near Penang Hill.
The lawyers demanded Lim to explain on why he still retained Ng. They pointed out that Ng had overstepped his powers as an assemblyman far too many times.
“Ng’s action reflects the way Lim runs the government – arrogant and big headed way.
“Lim must explain if he condoned Ng’s actions.
“Otherwise why Lim has failed to speak out against Ng,” said the lawyers in a statement.