Tony Pua giving a speech in a public rally
|Member of the Malaysian Parliament|
|Assumed office |
8 March 2008
|Preceded by||Chew Mei Fun (MCA–BN)|
Tony Pua Kiam Wee
1 August 1972
Batu Pahat, Johor, Malaysia
|Political party||Democratic Action Party – Pakatan Harapan|
|Alma mater||Keble College, Oxford|
Tony Pua Kiam Wee (simplified Chinese: 潘俭伟; traditional Chinese: 潘儉偉; pinyin: Pānjiǎnwěi; born 1 August 1972) is a Malaysian politician, currently the Member of Parliament for Damansara and the Political Secretary to the Minister of Finance. Pua is the former Malaysian CEO of Cyber Village Sdn Bhd, a SESDAQ (SGX second board)-listed company. In early 2007, he disposed of all his interests in the company and tendered his resignation to join the Democratic Action Party (DAP) in 2008.
Pua graduated from Keble College, Oxford with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics under a scholarship from the MTC Foundation in 1994. Prior to that, he received Asean and Shaw Foundation scholarships to pursue his O- and A-Levels in Raffles Institution and Raffles Junior College, in Singapore.
In the 2008 general election, Pua won the Parliamentary constituency of Petaling Jaya Utara on a DAP ticket. He ran against the incumbent, Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun, Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry for Women, Family & Community Affairs, and Deputy Chief of the Malaysian Chinese Association women's wing. In 2009, Pua was appointed the DAP member of the Pakatan Rakyat committee.
Tony Pua left home when he was 13 to do his secondary schooling in Singapore on an ASEAN scholarship from the Singapore government. He attended Raffles Institution and Raffles Junior College. He then went on to Oxford University where he studied PPE at Keble College on a MTC scholarship.
Pua worked for Andersen Consulting (now renamed Accenture) as a consultant after he graduated from Oxford. Two years later, in March 1997, he started Cyber Village when demand for e-business consultancy grew.
With his combined savings and those of his parents amounting to RM20,000 and another RM30,000 chipped in by three friends, he went ahead to open an office in Overseas Union Garden, Old Klang Road, KL with four staff.
In August 2001, Cyber Village became the first Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC)-status company to list on the Singapore Dealing and Automated Quotation System (Sesdaq). Its public offer of 400,000 shares drew an over-subscription of approximately 2.7 times. In January 2009, Cyber Village had successfully undergone a management buyout under the Koyo Group.
Bersih 1.0 anniversary vigil arrest
On 9 November 2008, Tony Pua was amongst the 23 arrested during a candlelight vigil in Petaling Jaya to commemorate the first anniversary of the Bersih street demonstration. Pua, along with Kampung Tunku state assemblyman, Lau Weng San, were allegedly manhandled by the police when they were arrested. Pua alleged that he was kicked, shoved and had his shirt torn by the Selangor police. Pua was released on police bail on the morning of 10 November 2008 and was later charged for illegal assembly.
On 10 August 2010, Tony Pua received a live 5.56mm bullet along with a threatening note posted from Tangkak, Johor. The bullet and the note were mailed to his constituency service centre in Damansara Utama. The note stated that Pua should watch out and that the whereabouts of his family, his house and his car were known.
Pua stated that the threat was perhaps related to his proposal to the Selangor government to slash Bumiputera discounts for homes and commercial property priced above RM 500,000 in the state, although he had also added that the 7% discounts enjoyed by Malays and other Bumiputeras should be retained for homes below RM 500,000.
On 28 January 2011, Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (SYABAS) filed a lawsuit against Tony Pua claiming that he had permitted Nanyang Siang Pau's Metro edition to publish words defamatory of it. The article had quoted him saying that if the water concessionaires could not settle their debts, the state government should take over the rights of management of water supply in Selangor. Syabas claimed that with the publication of the report in the newspaper, the company had been brought into public scandal and its image had been tarnished. Besides seeking an injunction to prevent Pua or his agents from publishing defamatory words against the company, Syabas was also seeking general damages and cost.
Pua argued that Syabas, as a public authority performing a public service, had no locus standi in making a defamation claim. He also said that he had a legal, moral and social duty as an MP and a member of the Selangor government Water Review Panel to publish those words as the public had a right to know. Pua also filed a counter-suit, claiming that Syabas' suit was frivolous, vexatious and amounted to an abuse of the court process, which resulted in him suffering losses and unnecessary harassment and expenses.
On 6 June 2012, the Malaysian High Court had found that SYABAS had succeeded in making its case against Pua for defamation ordered Tony Pua to pay RM200,000 in damages to SYABAS and awarded SYABAS interest at the rate of 4% per annum from the date of judgment till full payment and also costs. Justice Amelia Tee Hong Geok Abdullah also struck out Pua's counter-claim application and granted SYABAS an injunction to restrain Pua and his agents from further publishing or giving permission to be published "similar defamatory words" against SYABAS. The court found that "whilst the plaintiff may be encountering cash flow issues, the court does not believe that it is looking to this case to replenish its coffers." Pua later stated on his blog that he maintains "that the above statement is not defamatory, and will instruct my lawyers to file an appeal in the Court of Appeal."
On 7 July 2012, Pua posted on his blog that although an appeal was underway, he was required to pay the amount of RM200,000 to SYABAS by 16 July 2012. DAP Malaysia subsequently initiated "RM1 for Water Rights: 100,000 Malaysians Support Tony Pua vs Syabas" an online public mass fund-raising campaign, calling for 100,000 Malaysians to donate RM1 each to help Pua pay for the damages to SYABAS.
He subsequently won the Court of Appeal case. SYABAS appealed the decision to the Federal Court.
In the 2015 Federal Court case ( 6 MLJ 187), Tony Pua won the appeal based on Lucas-Box principle by providing his own reasonable meaning to the impugned words. Justification defense was successfully raised by Tony Pua.
The Tiger that Lost its Roar, a tale of Malaysia's political economy.
|2008||Tony Pua (DAP)||37,851||67.92%||Chew Mei Fun (MCA)||17,879||32.08%||56,257||19,972||73.47%|
|2013||Tony Pua (DAP)||57,407||81.84%||Chew Hoong Ling (MCA)||12,735||18.16%||70,727||44,672||82.82%|
|2018||Tony Pua (DAP)||121,283||89.00%||Ho Kwok Xheng (MCA)||14,380||10.55%||137,639||106,903||83.76%|
|Wong Mun Kheong (PRM)||617||0.45%|
Abolishing Bumiputra discounts for higher-priced housing
Tony Pua suggested that the Bumiputera discount for housing and real estate must be abolished for houses above RM500,000. He said that he does not oppose affirmative actions. However, he disagrees with giving discounts on expensive houses such as those priced at RM 1 million or RM 2 million.
Reducing civil servants
In one of his statements, Tony Pua said that the government should reduce the number of civil servants. However, his idea was rejected by PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim as not practical. Tony said that he only wants to see the government sector becoming more efficient with less cost.
- (in Chinese) 從政理念簡單踏實‧潘儉偉要幫助更多人, 1 June 2008, Sinchew Jitpoh
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