Datuk Michael Chong
Man of the People
A 100% success rate in 25 years of providing service and assistance to the people is an impressive record indeed, and it is no surprise that Datuk Michael Chong sees this as his greatest achievement.
“For cases which I can solve, I usually solve them within days or weeks,” says the Head of Public Services and Complaints Department (PSCD) at MCA. “On the other hand, for cases which I cannot solve, I never hesitate to explain the reasons and most of the complainants are fully aware of, and accept the explanation given. Therefore, the case is solved.”
His department receives more than 20 cases daily ranging from missing children and loan sharks to all kinds of scams. His staff is constantly baffled by the increasing number of people who fall prey to scratch-and-win hoaxes and online dating scams. Victims of the latter, especially women, lose not only their trust and emotional investment but also huge sums of money, sometimes reaching up to RM1 million. These cases have been highlighted in the print and broadcast media but the unwary are still susceptible to unscrupulous scammers. Public awareness, in fact, is one of the aims of the PSCD. Besides helping the public by giving advice, the PSCD has worked very closely with the mass media in various languages to reach out to the public. “Through my years of experience in this field, I realized that people tend to ‘forget’ easily. My most important wish is that people will learn from the cases that we have highlighted through various media – print, broadcast and online,” says Datuk Chong.
To promote new talent in his field, Datuk Chong is tireless and takes time out from his busy schedule to give talks and presentations on his job responsibilities and work experience. He usually speaks in team-building or leadership seminars that are organized by various NGOs as well as associations in rural areas all over the country.
He is usually available in the office from Monday to Friday and he does not have fixed working hours as he works round the clock. Although the department receives a substantial number of cases every day, Datuk Chong believes in the personal touch and tries to meet with each complainant to give his advice. There is also a team of legal advisors who offers advice on a voluntary basis.
What inspires him to push forward in his professional life? “Team work,” he explains. “I have six assistants who dedicate their time and patience to help me in solving the cases. Not forgetting the strong support from the media, MCA and most importantly, the public who have helped in every way, including donations for the needy and less fortunate as well as providing information on cases.”
“I may not be a man of academic intelligence, but I am surrounded by people who are more intelligent than me – like my lawyers and seniors in this field. I become smart because of them,” he says with a grin.