The president of Cantonese Vui Neng Clan Association, Koon Yew Choice, received a SMS invitation to ‘eat peanuts' from a disgruntled member on Monday night.
Koon was shaken and upset over the invitation because ‘eating peanuts' is a local euphemism for ‘eating bullets' which is a threat to shoot someone.
The blatant threat to Koon's life put damper on the association's festive gathering planned for tonight and compounded the sense of lawlessness among the people here in the wake of recent murders which claimed several lives.
Apparently the sender of the threat, who is known to Koon, has an axe to grind with him over what he perceived to be Koon's arrogance in public.
Not wanting to take any chances, Koon, accompanied by Dudong assemblyman Yap Hoi Leong, lodged a police report yesterday.
In a press conference later, he showed the text to reporters, saying the message included that invitation to him ‘to eat peanuts".
"The message clearly tells me that I should eat ‘bullets' if I continue to act arrogantly."
The president added: "I feel my personal life has been threatened, and this means my association is being threatened too."
Koon said apparently the threat was prompted by a visit of the committee members of his association to Sibu Municipal Council chairman Datuk Tiong Thai King, who is also Lanang MP, to invite him to their Chinese New Year gathering tonight.
"The visit was published in the local Chinese dailies. Apparently, when the SMS sender saw the news article, he sent me the SMS text on Monday night at 8.46pm."
He said the text read: "You are in the newspapers today. We are a group of wanderers who are also Vui Neng association members. Have you heard about "eating peanuts?" We warn you: Be careful."
Koon said since he became the president of the association on March 21, 2009, he had been harassed by this unhappy member who bombarded his handphone with offensive SMS texts.
"I have received at least 10 texts from him. His messages were all very disturbing. They were full of foul languages and they made false accusations against me as well."
Koon said apart from the ‘bullet' threat, the sender had also accused him of having an affair with a woman.
"So, there are two issues here - one is a threat to my life and the other is false accusations against me."
Koon said the threat was a criminal offence and that was why he lodged the report. Concerning the false accusations, he said he would decide whether he would file a civil suit against the SMS sender for defamation.
Yap, who was also present in the press conference, said he was saddened to see the SMS text sent to Koon. "It reveals a very sick attitude in our society.
There has been a series of murders in town, and in such tense moments, this threat is stirring up more fear and harm." He said disputes in associations should be solved amicably among the parties involved.
"Never resort to threats and violence," said Yap who accompanied Koon to lodge the report. Yap also requested the police to launch a thorough investigation.
He said since the threat had arisen from matters linked to the association, he advised Koon to refer it to the ROS for their attention too.
--Courtesy of The Borneo Post Online