A Pahang MCA division leader with a datukship has received the RM500 BR1M government aid, raising eyebrows among local residents and Internet users.
Bera MCA division chairperson Tang Hock Lok ( right ), who is also a well-known community leader and philanthropist in Triang - a rural town in southwest Pahang - in turn donated the RM500 to a disabled villager.
News about Tang receiving the Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) aid sparked an outcry in several online forums as well as the social media.
Many questioned his eligibility to qualify for the aid, and whether the BR1M programme was being abused.
According to reports in today's Chinese dailies, Tang brushed off any allegation of fraud.
"I applied through the proper procedure and the authority approved my application because I'm qualified. There was no illegal element or power abuse in the process," he is quoted as saying.
He met reporters after giving the RM500 to a disabled villager in Triang new village, where he is the ketua kampung.
"My initial intention of applying for the aid was to donate the RM500 to the needy," Tang said.
Now a sundry shop operator
He also cited Deputy Finance Minister Donald Lim's statement that even applicants with a 'Tan Sri' or 'Datuk' were eligible for the aid, as long as they met the criteria.
"I have nothing. All my assets have been transferred to my children. I have no income now," said Tang, whose three sons are married and live in Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysiakini learnt that Tang runs a sundry shop in Triang and was once involved in property development.
He holds many positions in local Chinese associations, including chairperson of Triang Federation of Chinese Associations, chairperson of board of directors of Triang Chinese school and chairperson of SMJK Triang parent-teacher association.
In an interview with Sin Chew Daily published in 2009, Tang was given the nickname "king of officiating ceremonies" because he has officiated hundreds of events as sponsor and donor.