Pubdate: Sun, 18 Mar 2001
Source: Sun-Herald (Australia)
Copyright: 2001 John Fairfax Holdings Ltd
Author: Vickie Maye


Death threats have forced Fairfield councillor and anti-drugs crusader 
Thang Ngo to consider abandoning his political career.

The outspoken Vietnamese-born councillor, who just weeks ago announced 
plans to run for the Senate, has openly criticised Cabramatta's heroin 
crisis since he was elected councillor two years ago.

But now death threats have forced him to consider resignation. "I am 
scared. I don't know what to do. I have other people to think of besides 
myself ... people who care about me," said Mr Ngo.

Last Saturday he discovered one of his car's tyres had been slashed and 
just two days later he received an anonymous phone call, warning him he had 
crossed the line.

"They told me this was just a warning, that next time it would hurt," Mr 
Ngo said.

He believes Cabramatta's drug dealers, angry at his anti-drugs stance, are 
to blame.

"I keep speaking out and now they want to get me. I spoke last week about 
drugs being stored in warehouses in Cabramatta; I think that was when I 
'crossed the line'."

Now the 34-year-old fears that each day could be his last. "It scares me, 
especially with the Newman trial. It just shows that these threats are 
carried out," he said. "Now every time I leave the house I find myself 
looking over my shoulder."

Assistant Commissioner Clive Small has been told about the death threats 
and police are examining the tyre.

The Unity Party councillor decided to publicise the threats because 
otherwise Cabramatta's drug lords would have believed they had won.

But he is still contemplating resigning and

will seek advice from his family over the weekend.

The word on the street at Cabramatta is that dealers are planning reprisals 
to combat recent anti-drugs publicity, according to Cabramatta Chamber of 
Commerce president Ross Treyvaud.

"A few business people who spoke out publicly against dealers had their 
shops vandalised last week," he said, referring to a group which plans to 
lodge a class action against the government for problems in the area.

On Thursday Mr Treyvaud told the Police Integrity Commission of death 
threats from police after he spoke out about poor response times.
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