FORMER Perth councillor Keith Yong has been charged with giving false evidence to a royal commission over his testimony during the 2019 City of Perth inquiry.
WA Police charged Mr Yong (also known as Yit Kee Yong) over his evidence at hearings on August 5 and 6 when the inquiry was looking into vote manipulation and possible “sham leases” set up for the purposes of gaining extra votes.
Police allege Mr Yong “gave false testimony to the inquiry panel in relation to communication between him and the returning officer of a previous City of Perth election”. The inquiry carried the same powers as a royal commission.
Mr Yong was on council from 2013 to 2017.
Mr Yong’s sister Angie Wong was also charged with giving false evidence during private inquiry hearings in March. Police say her “testimony related to a corporate lease which enabled nominated persons to be ‘corporate voters’ in a City of Perth election.
“During the course of giving the testimony the woman referred to a lease arrangement. It will be alleged after providing that testimony the woman went home and created a false lease document and backdated it by several years.
“It will be further alleged the woman provided the false document to the inquiry panel the following day to support the testimony she had given the day prior.”
Mr Yong and Ms Yong were briefly in Perth magistrates court on April 5 and released on bail ahead of the next court appearance in May.
The inquiry referred 23 people to state and federal authorities for potential prosecution but little has come of the referrals so far. Charges were laid, but later dropped, against former councillor Jim Adamos.
Tightening the laws to prevent sham leases are one focus of impending council reforms by the state government.
by DAVID BELL