Rape accused exco Paul Yong defends decision to return to work

Paul Yong is the assemblyman for Tronoh, and a state executive councillor. He is on trial on a rape charge. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Perak state executive council member Paul Yong Choo Kiong, accused of raping an Indonesian maid, has defended his decision to return to work after taking a leave of absence to focus on his trial.

Media reports quoted Yong as saying that he could resume work whenever he deemed was appropriate as he had gone on leave on his own initiative.

Yong also said he had the approval of “leaders from around the country” to return to his duties, although he stopped short of mentioning any names.

His return to work was the subject of a widely-shared audio clip, purportedly of a prominent Perak DAP leader criticising Yong for choosing to return to work. Yong refused to comment on the recording, according to Malaysiakini.

The voice in the clip is heard saying: “Wear DAP’s uniform, get DAP’s salary, but considers himself as the biggest person. Now some people can announce their resumption of duties on their own. There is no need to ask the party. Not a word to the party. I don’t want to name names but everyone knows.”

Yong is the assemblyman for Tronoh and state executive councillor for housing, local government, public transport, non-Muslim affairs and new villages. On Friday, he said he made the decision to return to work after discussing with Perak Menteri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu.

“The MB supports me to return to work as usual,” he said in a statement.

Yong had initially announced that he was going on leave to focus on his trial which began on Nov 11.

Yong, 49, was arrested on July 9 following a police report filed by a 23-year-old Indonesian woman accusing him of raping her in a house in Meru, near Ipoh. He was later released on police bail.