PETALING JAYA: Yeo Bee Yin has dismissed an anti-graft group’s claim that her candidacy for the Puchong parliamentary seat in the general election (GE15) is a conflict of interest of “major proportions” because she is the spouse of one of the country’s key business leaders.
In a statement, the Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4 Center) said DAP had nominated the former Bakri MP for a parliamentary seat in an area where her in-laws possess “vast business interests”.
It said this indicated a “glaring blindspot” if the party was unaware of Yeo’s business connections.
Yeo is married to IOI Properties Group Bhd CEO Lee Yeow Seng, whose late father Lee Shin Cheng founded IOI Group Bhd, one of the country’s largest developers and plantation cultivators.
In its statement, C4 said IOI Group has stakes in “massive land areas” across the Puchong constituency, with its main investment properties including IOI Mall Puchong, IOI Boulevard Puchong, Sheraton Puchong, the Puchong Financial Corporate Centre, Palm Garden Hotel, Palm Garden Golf Club and the IOI Palm Villa Golf and Country Resort.
Speaking to FMT, Yeo said none of these areas were in the Puchong constituency.
She said buildings such as the IOI Mall Puchong, IOI Boulevard Puchong and Sheraton Puchong were under the Subang constituency, contested by former Subang MP Wong Chen.
“C4 should check its facts. Find out the real locations in my constituency and don’t be misled by the name,” said Yeo.
“Those areas are not within the Puchong constituency.
“The Puchong constituency doesn’t include certain areas in Puchong.
“There are many other such parliamentary seats in Malaysia where the seat’s names do not reflect the actual areas.
“If they are only equating the name (Puchong) with my area, then maybe I am not in a position to answer these claims as they are inaccurate.
“I think the best thing is for them to find out the correct areas first and re-issue the statement after checking the facts.
“If they still say there is a conflict of interest, we will issue a statement then.”
Stating that the Puchong parliamentary seat encompassed the state seats of Seri Kembangan and Seri Serdang, Yeo said she was not certain if IOI Group had any land parcels in the area.
She also said that as an MP, she would have no power to decide on land matters as these were within the purview of state governments and local councils.
A former energy, science, technology, environment and climate change minister, Yeo said MPs had no executive power and these were limited to passing legislation in Parliament.
C4 said its statement came on the heels of a “Business in Politics” report it released last week in which it voiced concern over how future government policies would be shaped if GE15 candidates with business ties were elected.
It also questioned how “businessmen-turned-politicians” would vote in Parliament on issues that did not serve their business interests.
Among these issues were environmental policies, infrastructure development and minimum wages.
FMT has reached out to C4 for comment.