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DAP under fire over fundraising campaign for defamation suit

Social media users question the move to ask for public donations in order to cover the cost of damages ordered by the court.

Nur Hasliza Mohd Salleh
2 minute read
Puchong MP Yeo Bee Yin and former Damansara MP Tony Pua.
Puchong MP Yeo Bee Yin and former Damansara MP Tony Pua.

Social media users are questioning an online fundraiser launched by DAP to help two of its members pay damages of RM350,000 after being found guilty of defaming former MCA deputy minister Chew Mei Fun late last month. 

The Shah Alam High Court had ordered Puchong MP Yeo Bee Yin and former Damansara MP Tony Pua to pay the sum for claiming that Chew had approved the sale of land at a low price to MCA. 

But the move came under fire from internet users who said that the DAP leaders could afford to pay the damages without asking for public donations. 

Many also left sarcastic comments telling them to ask Barisan Nasional or Umno for help in "money matters" as they had the most experience with the court cluster. 

DAP's poster asking for donations to cover RM350,000 in damages in a defamation suit brought by former MCA deputy minister Chew Mei Fun.

"Ask Zahid for help, he is still the Umno president. Doesn't he want to help?" said Facebook user Rose Ho.

Another user by the name of Chris Bong said: "This is not for justice. This is to show that you are never wrong." 

Yeo is married to prominent businessman Lee Yeow Seng, who is also the CEO of IOI Properties Group Bhd. 

Her father-in-law, the late Lee Shin Cheng, was the founder of IOI Group Bhd, one of Malaysia's biggest conglomerates.

Pua meanwhile is a businessman and the former CEO of a Malaysian e-business consulting firm listed on the Singapore exchange. 

Chew, the former women, family and community development minister, filed the suit against them in March 2018, accusing them of defamation. 

Pua was ordered by the court on Nov 30 to pay Chew RM200,000 while Yeo was told to pay RM150,000. Chew was also awarded RM50,000 in costs to be paid by the defendants. 

DAP had uploaded a message asking for funds to pay the suit, with payments directed to the party's bank account for the Damansara branch. 

It said on its Facebook page that any excess money would be used for the next series of election campaigns. 

Many social media users responded by accusing the two leaders of prioritising their interests and placing a burden on the people. 

"Come on. Both of you so rich, still want the rakyat to donate. You are the ones who should help the rakyat to improve their livelihoods. Don't do this kind of publicity," said Facebook user Robin Tee. 

Hadi Zulkifli meanwhile said: "Now that Covid is gone, it's no longer 'kita jaga kita'. Kita jaga YB." 

"Can't your husband help?" added user Ahmad Azim. "If you have a billionaire husband, don't be stingy."