Police urged to investigate 'Jackie Chan'

SINGAPORE - The spotlight is now on Jackie Chan.

No, not the Hong Kong action star, but a former underworld kingpin, Mr Ong King Ee, who was given the nickname.

At the peak of a nationwide crackdown on gangsterism in Malaysia, former Criminal Investigation Department director Zaman Khan Rahim on Wednesday urged the police to investigate a former convict who was a triad chief and is now, he claimed, a low-ranking leader in a political party in Penang.

He voiced out his worries to Bernama, Malaysia's national news agency, that the involvement of politicians in secret societies could cause all kinds of speculation by the public.

While Mr Zaman did not reveal the identity of the leader, he said that when he was in the police force, he had the man arrested in Thailand, prosecuted in Malaysia and sentenced to jail.

The man was later revealed to be Mr Ong, also known as the Jackie Chan of Penang, as confirmed by Bukit Aman's secret societies, gaming and antivice principal assistant director Abdul Jalil Hassan.

But The Malaysian Insider reported that Mr Ong left politics in July 2003 via a fax sent to the Penang MCA headquarters.

Mr Ong has not spoken since the allegations.

He used to head Sio Sam Ong (Three Emperors) gang, one of the most notorious gangs in Penang. He had been held in detention under the Emergency

Ordinance in connection with a case that shot the group to prominence in 1992.

The gang members gunned down six people at a pre-wedding celebration in Sungai Petani, Kedah, that year.

Mr Ong joined the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) in 2000.

He later became the party's Gurney Drive branch chairman but resigned in 2003.

In the same year, Mr Ong was detained for attempting to revive Sio Sam Ong - linked to drug trafficking, kidnapping, murder and robbery - and to assist police in their investigations into criminal cases in the state .

Gangs and politicians working hand in hand is apparently not a new phenomenon.

According to The Malaysian Insider, a top MCA leader in Labuan was arrested for suspected involvement in vice activities in 2004. Then in his 40s, the leader was monitored for several months before he was nabbed.

Such instances come as a timely worry in light of the Malaysian police's efforts to nab gangsters, as they are believed to be the root of the recent spate of shooting, robberies and drug-related cases.


So far, 49 gangs have been identified on the police's wanted list, 4,806 people have been arrested and thousands of people identified as gang members.

Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said the focus of the operation to hunt down triads will now be on the border areas, including the country's entry and exit points. (See report above.)

To allay the concerns of triads' involvement in politics, Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the government has identified several politicians believed to be linked with triads in the country, the Malay Mail reported.

"If those politicians are former members of secret societies, they might have already repented. It would be unfair to associate them with those societies again," he said.

"But if investigations reveal they still have connections with triads, then we will expose them and take legal action."

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