‘Yong may be asked to go on leave’

Although state exco member Paul Yong Choo Kiong will be back to work as usual today, Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu said he may be asked to go on leave if the police investigation takes too long.

(The Star) – Yong’s private secretary Teoh Hui Yng said Yong, who is accused of raping his Indonesian maid, would be carrying out his duties at his office at the state secretariat building here, although he had been busy during the past few days dealing with the accusation.

Asked if her boss was willing to meet the media for an interview, she said she would need Yong’s agreement first.

Teoh was speaking to reporters after lodging a report at the Ipoh police headquarters yesterday over a member of a political party who called her and allegedly asked her if her boss had sexually harassed her in the past.

Keng, who is also acting as Yong’s law­yer, Buntong assemblyman A. Sivasubra­maniam and Keranji assemblyman Chong Zhemin.

Leong said Yong would carry out his duties as a state executive councillor, and that there was no reason for him to be suspended.

He added that Yong should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

“The allegation against Yong has no basis because we lawyers have this saying – that rape is easy to allege but difficult to rebut,” he said.

Leong said Yong had a strong alibi and witnesses to show that the alleged crime did not happen.

He insists that he is studying the case through the evidence, alibi and witnesses, and not because Yong is his friend.

“It was impossible or illogical for him to rape someone in his own house where there were other people around, including family members,” he claimed.

On the police report, Teoh, 27, who has been working for Yong for the past seven months, claimed that she received a call from Loh Tian Quan at about 1pm on Wednesday, asking her if she had been sexually harassed by Yong.

She hoped the police would investigate the attempts to slander Yong.

When contacted, Loh said that as a friend, he admitted that he had called Teoh to check on her.

“I was merely telling her to be careful as I heard a lot of unpleasant information from outside.

“I have no reason to tarnish his (Yong) name or career,” he said.

Loh, who is a Perak MCA committee member, issued a statement on Wednesday asking the police to give a press conference to prevent speculation of the case.

In Kuala Lumpur, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said action would only be decided once the police had completed their investigation into the rape allegation.

He said he had ordered the state DAP to prepare a report for him and the matter was also discussed with Ahmad Faizal.

“Let us wait for the outcome of the police probe before any decision is made,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby.

Ahmad Faizal said the swearing-in ceremony for the state exco members scheduled yesterday had been postponed because of the probe.

“There is no criminal charges yet. But if the investigation drags on too long, he (Yong) may be asked to take leave,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby.

“He’s still an exco and he can still come to the office. I have only postponed the important meetings,” said Ahmad Faizal.

In a statement on Wednesday, Yong, 49, who is Perak Housing and Local Government Committee chairman, said he unequivocally and categorically denied the unfoun­ded allegation made against him.

It was reported that Perak police chief Comm Datuk Razarudin Husain said they had recorded statements from Yong and the 23-year-old alleged victim.