IPOH, Aug 3 — Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM) president Larry Sng has said the party will continue to contest the Tronoh state seat in Perak in the next general election (GE15) regardless of the party’s incumbent lawmaker Paul Yong’s rape conviction status.
Sng said the party had already planned to only contest for the incumbent seats already held by its members.
“The party has decided to focus only on incumbent seats and will continue to service Tronoh constituency.
“As for GE15, Tronoh will continue to be a seat that will be keenly contested by PBM,” he told Malay Mail.
Sng said the decision was made by the party’s supreme council.
He added that the party will also further review the matter as it gets closer to the election date.
Meanwhile, PBM deputy president Haniza Mohamed Talha insisted that Yong has only taken garden leave from active politics, but will continue servicing the constituency.
“PBM will maintain all incumbent seats including Tronoh. Yong is appealing the judgment by the High Court.
“Until the decision of the appeal court is reached, Paul will be the candidate for Tronoh. Any other developments will require the party leaders to decide then,” she told Malay Mail via text message.
The status of whether PBM will contest the seat became uncertain after Yong, Tronoh assemblyman, was recently convicted of raping his former Indonesian maid three years ago.
On July 27, the High Court in Ipoh sentenced the Tronoh assemblyman to 13 years’ jail and two strokes of the cane after finding him guilty of raping his former Indonesian domestic helper.
Yong’s counsel Datuk Rajpal Singh and Salim Bashir asked the court for a stay of execution as they planned to file an appeal against the verdict, which was granted.
But the judge ordered Yong to surrender his passport to the court and set bail at RM15,000 with one surety.
Subsequently, on July 29, PBM’s information chief Zakaria Abdul Hamid in a statement announced that Yong will take leave from active politics until the appeal against his rape conviction is concluded.
Zakaria added Yong will also be replaced as the party’s Perak state chief and national treasurer “in the near future”.
Yong, who previously served DAP, left the party after Perikatan Nasional took over the Perak government in March 2020.
He then joined Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia in December 2020. However, Yong quit the party to join PBM in January this year.