Saying MB agrees, Yong returns as Perak exco even before rape trial starts

Perak DAP assemblyman Paul Yong speaks at the State Legislative Assembly in the State Secretariat Building in Ipoh November 15, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib
Perak DAP assemblyman Paul Yong speaks at the State Legislative Assembly in the State Secretariat Building in Ipoh November 15, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib

IPOH, Nov 15 — Perak DAP assemblyman Paul Yong Choo Kiong resumed his official duties as a state executive councillor today, despite previously saying he would take a leave of absence for the duration of his rape trial.

Yong confirmed his return via a WhatsApp group after the media asked him why he was submitting written responses on behalf of the state government to questions in the state assembly.

“The decision was made after discussing with Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu. 

“The mentri besar supports me to return to duty as usual,” he said in a statement. 

Earlier, Yong had responded to Malim Nawar assemblyman Leong Cheok Keng’s questions on unsold houses in Perak. 

Later Perak Speaker Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham said it was the MB’s prerogative to decide which state official would field questions to his administration.

“According to law, Yong is still the state executive councillor and also an assemblyman. Whether he has been chosen to answer in the state assembly, it depends on the state government. 

“If the state government has decided to allow Yong to answer, then I will not interfere as I’m only the State Speaker,” he told a press conference. 

On August 25, the Tronoh assemblyman said that he was taking a leave of absence from his duties as Perak state executive councillor to focus on his rape trial.

However, Yong said that he will continue to serve as Tronoh assemblyman.

Two days later, Ahmad Faizal said that he will temporarily handle Yong’s portfolio of housing, local government, public transport, non-Islamic affairs and new villages, pending the disposal of the latter’s rape trial.

Yong’s rape trial is yet to commence as a hearing has been scheduled at the High Court here as Yong’s defence team made an application for the case to be transferred from the Session Court to the High Court. 

On August 23, Yong claimed trial to the charge of raping the Indonesian at 52, Desa Meru 2, Meru Desa Park, Meru Raya here on July 7, between 8.15pm to 9.15pm.

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