JOHOR BARU, July 3 — Johor Umno claimed Yeo Bee Yin failed to separate her public duty as minister from her private role as a wife when she went on the offensive against her industrialist husband’s detractors over the ongoing pollution in Pasir Gudang.
Its chairman Datuk Hasni Mohammad said the energy, science, technology, environment and climate change minister should conduct herself more professionally and let her husband and heir to the IOI palm oil and properties conglomerate, Lee Yeow Seng, deal with the accusations against himself, directly.
“As a minister, she should be able to differentiate her duties as a minister and wife,” Hasni told Malay Mail when contacted today.
“If the husband feels that he is wrongly accused, he should take action,” said the seasoned Umno politician and Benut assemblyman, adding that Yeo in her capacity should refrain from being personal about such matters.
The Johor Opposition chief was responding to Yeo’s promise of legal action against those whose linked her and her husband to the latest spate of health incidents in the Pasir Gudang district suspected to be caused by noxious fumes and which has made many students and residents sick.
The federal government has been accused of being slow to act on the Pasir Gudang pollution, and anti-Pakatan Harapan (PH) groups attributed it to nepotism as Lee supposedly owns three chemical plants in the district.
Photos of Yeo and Lee were spread on several social media sites, including the purported Facebook pages of Johor Umno and a known anti-PH group accompanying those allegations.
However, the three IOI subsidiaries listed by the detractors — IOI Pan Century Oleochemical Sdn Bhd, IOI Lipid Enzymtec Sdn Bhd, IOI Pan Century Edible Oil Sdn Bhd — that are all situated in Pasir Gudang deal with palm oil rather than chemicals.
Yeo later responded in her Facebook page, saying she will take legal action against all who spread lies and abused their freedom of speech.
The 36-year-old Bakri MP said the accusations in the posts was politicising a health issue, which she described as disgusting and vile.
Yeo married Lee, who is chief executive officer of IOI Properties Group Bhd, in March.
Lee, 40, is the youngest son of property tycoon Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng.