Vice-President Dato Simon Lim Seng Chai On YB Paul Yong Resuming Exco Duties
Saturday, November 16, 2019
We are shocked to learn from news reports that YB Paul Yong has resumed his duties as the Perak Executive Councillor, less than three months after going on leave following public pressure to do so. More disturbing is the fact that he did so despite not yet being acquitted of the rape charge he was facing. In fact, the trial had not even commenced.

In August, we had called on YB Paul Yong to take leave, pending the conclusion of his trial. We were gratified that he decided to following mounting public pressure. But his recent change of heart clearly went against popular public sentiment that a public office bearer must not only be above board, but must be seen to be so and that taking leave was a moral necessity.

We were equally shocked that YB Paul Yong's return as the Executive Councillor had reportedly received the blessings of the State Menteri Besar, although the latter himself had in August asked YB Paul Yong to take leave, pending the conclusion of the trial.

We call on the Prime Minister and other senior government leaders to intervene on this, with the aim of getting YB Paul Yong to resume his leave as the State Executive Councillor. This is in line with good governance championed by the new administration.

On the assertion by YB Paul Yong's lawyer that there was no legal grounds against the Executive Councillor returning to work, we'd like to remind him that this is not about legality, but a matter of moral duty and good governance, the latter a principle which we promote.  

We'd like to reiterate that in any matured democracies, public office bearers would go on leave for a far lesser charge. Taking leave is not an admission of guilt, but to allow for a transparent due process to take place. If and when acquitted, YB Paul Yong can return to his office, with his head held higher than before.


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