Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament for Bangi, on the 11th of September 2020

I will not be intimidated and will continue to speak up on important higher education issues

I have received a Notice of Demand, Cease and Desist and Intimation of Legal Proceedings via the DAP Headquarters, on the 4th of September, issued by the lawyers of Dato’ Gail Phung, Senior Vice President of LimKokWing University of Creative Technology (LCUT). This notice purports that I have retweeted a defamatory tweet against Dato’ Gail Phung. Amongst others, the said Notice demands that I pay the sum of RM50 million to Dato’ Gail Phung purportedly for compensation and damages.

This appears to be a case of intimidation on the part of a senior executive of LCUT against a Member of Parliament who is raising a legitimate public interest issue. The accusation of corruption in the case of LimKokWing University of Creative Technology (LCUT)’s operations in Sierra Leone was a subject of an investigation by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in that country and has been widely reported in the press in that country.[1] Any accusations of corruption against the founder and senior management of a well-known Malaysia university overseas will have a serious impact on the branding of Malaysian universities in other countries. As a Member of Parliament, it is well within my right and my duty to raise these issues to the attention of the officials in government, in this case, the Minister of Higher Education, Dr. Noraini Ahmad (@drnorainiahmad) and her officers at the Ministry of Higher Education (@MOHEOfficial), which I tagged in my tweet above. I was not agreeing or disagreeing with the tweet by @IamTheAdeline which I referenced in my tweet. I was referencing the tweet by @IamTheAdeline to give context to the accusations raised so that the relevant authorities in Malaysia can be made aware of this case and conduct the necessary investigations.

As far as I know, this is the first time that a party in Malaysia has tried to take legal action against a Member of Parliament over a tweet / retweet involving a legitimate public interest issue.

I will not issue any public apologies over my tweets and public statements with regards to LCUT and their senior management as I firmly believe that the issues I have raised are a matter of public interest and consistent with my role as a Member of Parliament who has spoken and written consistently on matters to do with Higher Education. I definitely will not be paying ‘compensation’ of RM50 million to Dato’ Gail Phang purportedly for my public statements and tweets on this matter.

Indeed, I will continue to highlight matters to do with LCUT which have to do with public interest and which may affect the reputation of the higher education landscape in Malaysia.

I have instructed my lawyer, Syahredzan Johan, to reply to the notice issued by the lawyers of Dato’ Gail Phang and state my position on the legal notice issued to me.



[1] https://www.politicosl.com/articles/acc-interrogate-former-sierra-leone-education-minister-over-limkokwing-agreement

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