IPOH: Paul Yong Choo Kiong (pic) has decided to take a leave of absence from his official duties as a Perak executive council member.
In a statement issued Sunday (Aug 25), Yong said he would concentrate on his rape trial in his bid to clear his name and established his innocence.
"After considering the situation carefully, I have decided to take leave from my official duties as a state exco member.
"I also feel that I should put the interests of the state ahead of my personal interests, as I have always done in my career as a politician, and I will communicate this decision to the Mentri Besar today (Sunday)," he said in the statement.
Yong, who was charged with raping his former Indonesian maid, claimed trial at the Sessions Court here on Friday (Aug 23).
Prior to court proceedings, Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu had advised him to go on leave.
Yong said he still strongly denied the baseless and unfounded allegations made against him.
"I maintain that this is an ugly political conspiracy against me and the severity of these allegations has caused massive distress to me, my family and colleagues.
"I have instructed my lawyers to request from the court the earliest possible trial dates to be fixed, so that I can be vindicated as soon as possible," he said.
"In the meantime, I shall continue to serve my constituents as the Tronoh assemblyman, as I have always done," he added.