Tee Boon Hock was accused of abusing the state exco, Ronnie Liu, letterhead to approve projects worth more than RM1 million to some 20 companies. One of the companies enlisted Tee's son as a partner.
Tee was expelled by DAP to quell criticism against the party's appointed official. DAP has been trying to build its credential as a crusader of corruption. Penang CM Lim Guan Eng has been leading the call against corruption in Penang through his CAT initiative. He was recently embroiled with a federal officer over some financial issues and has been critical of BN federal government over several financial scandals.
Hence, DAP's reaction on the Tee Boon Hock case is predictable. However, some party members accused some state leaders in the party of conspiring against Tee due to the forthcoming state party elections.
Klang DAP liaison secretary Lee Fu Haw said it was a harsh treatment meted against a DAP activist who had made many contributions to the party since he joined almost three decades ago.
Tee also reiterated his stance that he had not known a contractor had taken his son, Tee Chin Chin, as a partner in the company when he signed a letter of support for in 2008.
Lee's allegation is so predictable too. The most important issue here is public accountability. Tee or DAP internal politicking is none of our business. But how councillors conduct themselves is our business especially when some of them such as Tee were given an authority to approve contracts.
What did Tee do when he found out that his son was a partner in the company? Did he act on it swiftly to ensure that the contract was retracted?
DAP may have overreacted due to its own political interest. A suspension would have been sufficient since investigation is still ongoing but Tee's justification is totally unacceptable too.
This is a good lesson for all appointed and elected political representatives. All of them must be accountable for their own action especially those holding public office. Tee's record for decades of public service has been tarnished by a single act of unprofessionalism. He should have studied the background of all contractors bidding for projects. Most importantly, he should communicate with his son more.
His ex-boss, state exco Ronnie Liu, must ensure that only he is allowed to do such an important task - supporting or recommending contractors for state projects. Better still, the state government should establish an independent and transparent procurement system to evaluate all bidders.
Generally, DAP did the right thing.