Rela denies allegation that it pressured volunteers in Datuk Seri case

KUALA LUMPUR: Rela denied allegations that it had forced Melvin Cheong Mun Khai to turn down the offer for the Datuk Seri to pay the compound in court for allegedly attacking him and two other members.

Rela operations director Mohamad Razib Buhaini said that the organisation has lodged a police report due to this allegation.

“Rela did not force him to reject the offer to pay a compound in court to settle the charges,“ he told reporters after lodging a police report at the Sentul police station today.

Earlier this month, Melvin Cheong Mun Khai denied that he was bribed to withdraw his police report against the businessman who allegedly assaulted him.

He said the main reason for withdrawing his police report was due to his job as a bartender, which made it difficult for him to attend court proceedings in the daytime and monitor the progress of the case.

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

Liow, 29, had pleaded not guilty on Nov 3 last year to four charges of assaulting the three Rela members who were carrying out their duties at a temple in Kampung Baru Ampang, Kuala Lumpur.

He had allegedly caused hurt to Lee Weng Poh, 27, Melvin Cheong, 19, and Leong Jun Jie, 21, while they were on duty.

Although the report had been withdrawn, the court ruled that the case will still be heard as there were two other victims.

Magistrate Muhamad Firdaus Saidina Ali agreed with the prosecution that a report is just an instrument to commence investigations.

However, the court granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) on the charge of causing hurt to Cheong under Section 323 of the Penal Code and another charge of using criminal force to deter Cheong from carrying out his duty as a Rela officer, an offence under Section 353 of the same code.

The remaining two charges against Liow are under Section 323 of the Penal Code, where he pleaded not guilty to voluntarily causing hurt to Lee and Leong.