IPOH: Perak state executive councillor Paul Yong Choo Kiong has decided to take leave to focus on his trial in which he is accused of rape. His decision comes after careful consideration and on his “party’s advice” to focus on clearing his name and establishing his innocence.
Yong, who is also Housing, Local Government, Public Transport, Non-Islamic Affairs, and New Villages executive council chairman, has maintained that the accusation is nothing but a conspiracy to smear his name.
“I strongly deny the baseless and unfounded allegations. I maintain that this is an ugly political conspiracy against me. The severity of these allegations has caused me, my family and colleagues, a lot of distress,“ Yong said in a statement.
After considering his position carefully, Yong decided to take leave from his official duties as the state exco of Perak. He will, however, continue to serve his constituents as the Tronoh Assemblyman.
“I feel I should put the interests of the State ahead of my personal interests, as I have always done in my career as a politician,” he said today. He also informed that he has instructed his defense team to seek the earliest possible trial dates, having pleaded “not guilty” to the allegation of raping his 23-year-old Indonesian maid on July 7 at a house in Meru.
Yong was charged in the sessions court last Friday with one count of alleged rape, which under Section 376 of the Penal Code, if found guilty, may find him imprisoned for a term of not less than ten years and not more than thirty years, and is liable to be whipped.
Earlier, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, who is also the Finance Minister, told a press conference that the national DAP leadership had written to the Perak DAP, to seek approval for Yong’s relief from his responsibilities as Perak state exco. A statement will be announced soon.
Meanwhile, the case has since become more complicated when Perak DAP adviser and state legislative assembly speaker Datuk Ngeh Koo Han lodged a police report claiming that the man who ferried the Indonesian maid to the police station to lodge the police report on the alleged rape had apparently received RM100,000.
Ngeh said that he has left it to the police to further investigate.