Rela Member Denies Bribed to Withdraw Report in Datuk Seri Assault Case

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A Rela (People’s Volunteer Corps) member has denied that there is an element of bribery behind the withdrawal of his police report against businessman Datuk Seri Liow Soon Hee who allegedly assaulted him.

Melvin Cheong Mun Khai said the speculation was untrue.

“I did not receive any financial aid (habuan kewangan) nor in the form of property for retracting the police report lodged on Aug 18. I voluntarily withdrew the report,” Cheong said in a statement.

He also denied that he had accepted Liow’s apology.

“The main reason I withdrew the report is due to my commitment working from late at night until morning and this burdens me to come to court to give evidence regarding this case,” said Cheong, who works full-time as a bartender.

Cheong was accompanied by his lawyer Yusof Mohamed Salleh during a press conference on Friday (Dec 7).

He said this was an offence by a person against another person and he felt that there was no need for any interference.

“I do not want to become a puppet following orders from certain people.

Hafiz Yatim/Malaysiakini

“I would like to stress here that during the court proceeding, two of my Rela friends and I had agreed for the accused (businessman) to pay compound in court to settle the charges for causing hurt against us, but Rela had pressured us to turn down the offer,” he said.

On Sept 9, Rela operations director Mohamad Razib Buhaini was quoted as saying that they were not consulted when Cheong made the decision to “forgive” the businessman Datuk Seri Liow Soon Hee.

Mohamad Razib wanted Cheong to be investigated for corruption.

“While the court proceedings were in progress, he decided to withdraw the police report without any consultation with us.

Ahmad Irham Mohd Noor/NST

“We find this highly suspicious and call upon the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) to look into the matter to see if there are elements of integrity breach or corruption,” Mohamad Razib said before heading into the MACC headquarters to lodge a report.

Cheong also denied that he had been called in by the MACC for investigations following a complaint made by Rela’s director of operations Mohamad Razib Buhaini in September.

On Oct 27 last year, Liow, 30, had pleaded not guilty to causing injury to Cheong, 21, Lee Weng Poh, 29, and Leong Jun Jie, 23, at the compound of Kou Ong Yah temple in Ampang.

Raja Faisal Hishan/The Star

After Cheong withdrew his report against Liow, the Ampang magistrate’s court granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal to the accused on two charges.

One of the charges is for causing hurt to Cheong while the other is for using criminal force to deter him from carrying out his duty as a Rela officer.

The case involving the other two victims continues for trial.