GEORGE TOWN, March 14 — DAP assemblyman Yap Soo Huey, a vocal advocate for town planning issues, particularly in her constituency, will not defend her seat in the general election.
The Pulau Tikus assemblyman announced this on her Facebook page today and said she intends to further her studies in urban and transport planning.
“I have been considering this for more than a year and I feel that it is a good time now for me to go to university (rather) than later,” she told Malay Mail today.
“I think it would be useful for me to study these fields now when I am still young rather than wait another five years before doing it.”
She said there is a dearth of strong, capable experts within the government in the areas of urban planning and transport planning, noting that foreign experts were often enlisted in these areas.
Yap applied to eight universities to pursue her master's degree in urban planning, was accepted by six, and offered scholarships by four.
She is deciding between the Georgia Institute of Technology and Cornell University, both of which are in the US, but is leaning towards the former.
The 36-year-old said she timed her studies to start after the general election so she could serve out her full term.
“This is a two-year course, which may extend to three years if I decide to do a double master's in urban planning and public policy,” she said.
Once she completes her post-graduate studies, Yap said she intends to bring her knowledge and expertise back to South-east Asia.
Yap added she will still help DAP with campaigning during the general election and remain a party member, but will give up her political posts including on the Wanita DAP national executive council.
The DAP leadership was informed of her plans last year, she said.
When asked if she knew who would succeed her in the seat, Yap said she did not.
Yap is known for various projects she introduced in Pulau Tikus including a free shuttle bus service that loops around the constituency and a pilot public space project to widen and beautify pavements in the constituency.