Vice-President Dato' Simon Lim Seng Chai Asking YB Paul Yong To Take Leave
Saturday, August 24, 2019
Perak Executive Councillor YB Paul Yong should go on leave, pending the outcome of the criminal charges against him. This is in line with good governance, where public office bearers must not only be clean and upright, but be seen to be so.

We are gobsmacked that Yong has refused to take leave, despite being advised to do so by the Perak Menteri Besar. The criminal charge against Yong is a grave one, and he comes from a party that has been at the forefront in promoting good governance.

It is standard practice for public office bearers in mature democracies around the world to take leave or resign after being implicated for wrongdoings that are even far lighter than rape. If Yong is committed to the ideals of good governance that his party and coalition have pledged to uphold, he should take leave of absence immediately. There is no need to wait until the conclusion of his trial.

In any case, if Yong is cleared of the rape charge, he can return to his old post, with his head held even higher than before. Taking leave is not an admission of guilt, but to defend the sanctity of the state's administration. It is an honourable thing to do.

As an organisation that upholds good governance, we believe that public office bearers implicated in wrongdoings should take leave, if not resign. In July 2015, we had also asked the then PM, Dato Seri Najib Razak to go on leave over the 1MDB scandal.

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