PETALING JAYA: An organiser of the 2021 World Chinese Economic Forum (WCEF) has threatened to take legal action against a tycoon over a statement he made in distancing himself from the event held yesterday.
International Strategy Institute (ISI) said the statement by Country Heights Holdings Bhd executive chairman Lee Kim Yew, posted yesterday on his Facebook page, was “to some extent, factually incorrect to the point of (being) libellous”.
According to ISI, the 2021 WCEF had nothing to do with the World Chinese Economic Summit or Global Chinese Economic and Technology Summit, as alleged by Lee.
“The 2021 WCEF also has nothing to do with Lee Kim Yew. If more incorrect and unwarranted statements come from him, we shall refer them to our solicitors to take appropriate action,” it said.
In his statement, Lee said the WCEF was founded by him in 2009, with the first edition being held at the Palace of the Golden Horses. He said the event garnered the support of economic and political analyst Michael Yeoh after a few years.
In response, ISI said Yeoh was the organising chairman for its past WCEF events.
“Yeoh was instrumental in developing the WCEF events under our corporation, namely the 10th and 11th WCEF events. The current WCEF event is the special edition of WCEF after the 11th WCEF event organised by us in 2019 in Hangzhou, China,” it said.
The 2021 WCEF held yesterday became the centre of attention as it featured former prime minister Najib Razak as its keynote speaker.
“It is an annual event which we have been organising since 2018 in Malaysia. Our current chairman is also the registered trademark owner of the WCEF,” ISI said.
It said the 2021 WCEF was being co-hosted with the China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC) and One Belt One Road Association (PMOBOR).
“We must also add that the selection of the speakers for the 2021 WCEF was made by three parties, namely, ISI, CCOIC and PMOBOR,” it said.
Yesterday, Lee said the 2021 WCEF had nothing to do with him. “The name of the forum has since been changed to the World Chinese Economic Summit (WCES) and this year to the Global Chinese Economic and Technology Summit.
“I have come to know that the organisers of yesterday’s event have been using the WCEF name and some of our photos in China from two years ago, calling it the 11th WCEF. This will surely cause confusion,” he said.
Lim also said the organisers should not have named the event WCEF, and criticised them for inviting Najib to speak at the event.