Ex-MP suspects political revenge in police probe, phone confiscation

Tan Tee Beng shows the police notice requiring him to present himself at the Tanjong Tokong station.

GEORGE TOWN: A former PKR lawmaker today voiced suspicions that he is being made the target of selective prosecution after a notice issued against him for using an illegal cordless phone and a police probe over a social media post in which he had questioned the choice of clothing of a minister’s son.

Former Nibong MP Tan Tee Beng added that his phone had been confiscated as well, saying it was all too coincidental and smacked of “political revenge”.

He said during his time with PKR, from 2008 to 2010, he had criticised the Barisan Nasional (BN) government but was never subjected to any investigation.

“Look, I have no experience in handling this,” Tan, who quit PKR to become an independent MP until the expiry of his term in 2013, said in a press conference today.

“I can only sense political revenge. What else could this be? Looks like I have offended someone who cannot be offended.”

The 46-year-old was recently summoned by the police over a report against him about a Facebook post relating to the son of Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.

In his post, Tan had questioned Lim’s son for wearing a designer jacket in the hot weather while DAP grassroots members were busy selling the party newsletter, The Rocket.

He also shared a picture of Lim and his family on a flight to Australia, where social media users had praised the minister for travelling economy class. In that picture, Lim’s son was seen wearing what appeared to be a Givenchy jacket.

It was accompanied by a screenshot from an online shop for designer clothing which put the Givenchy jacket at £1,180 or RM6,208. However, it is unknown whether the jacket worn by Lim’s son was in fact a Givenchy.

At the press conference today, Tan said the Putrajaya police district Criminal Investigation Department chief, who was an assistant superintendent, had taken his mobile phone which he used to update his Facebook account.

He said the officer had assured him that the phone would be returned once a forensic investigation had been done on the device.

Although the police had not revealed the name of the complainant, he said, the report had been filed in Putrajaya.

“I have a message to the complainant,” he said. “Please do not use police resources to stop my right to speak up. I am a regular citizen. I am sure the police have more serious crime issues to investigate.

“I also want to ask the complainant if my Facebook post was insulting or defamatory, or had affected your reputation. I have never questioned the ability to buy the jacket, I just asked that the welfare of the DAP grassroots be taken care of.

“Act like a gentleman. Why are you in hiding? Why are you using the authorities to come to me? Come out and tell me what is wrong and I will apologise if I am wrong, or else, if you continue to stop me from speaking up, I will fight on,” he said.

Tan said he was also worried that his mobile phone, which has no password or fingerprint lock, would be misused and later used to frame him.

He added that his privacy had been breached as his phone contained numerous details including bank account numbers and family photos.

The Facebook post by former DAP MP Jeff Ooi.

He also asked why the police had not acted against DAP’s former Jelutong MP, Jeff Ooi, whom he said had published a similar post on Facebook.

On the accusation that he had used an unregulated cordless phone at his home, Tan said he found it strange when officers from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) came knocking on his door.

Noting that it was the same day that the Facebook post was shared, he said the officers had not met with him but only left a note about their visit.

“The next day, they told me that my cordless phone had interfered with the U Mobile frequency. I checked with the neighbours all around me, and nobody was using U Mobile services.”

He added that he had been using the same cordless phone for six years now, but that he had not checked if it was certified by the MCMC.