IPOH: State executive council member Paul Yong Choo Kiong has resumed his official duties, despite stating in August that he was taking leave to concentrate on the rape case against him.
In a WhatsApp message to the media, Yong said following a discussion with Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu, it has been agreed that he would resume his duties.
“All my administrative duties will go on as usual, ” he said.
The media was caught by surprise on the first day of the state assembly sitting yesterday when Yong started to reply to written questions under his portfolio.
He took the question by Leong Cheok Keng (DAP-Malim Nawar) on the efforts taken by the government to overcome the issue of unsold houses in Perak.
Prior to this latest turn of events, it was reported on Aug 27 that Ahmad Faizal would take over the portfolios under Yong while he took leave from his official duties.
Ahmad Faizal had said at that time that he agreed with Yong’s move to go on leave to focus on his trial.
On Aug 23, Yong pleaded not guilty to a charge of raping a maid at a house in Meru Desa Park between 8.15pm and 9.15pm on July 7.
Yong’s rape trial has yet to start because on Wednesday, an application was filed for the case to be heard in the High Court instead of the Sessions Court.
Later at a press conference, Speaker Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham said it was for the state government to decide on who would speak on an exco member’s behalf during a sitting.
“I don’t get involved in that matter, ” he said.
“According to the law, he (Yong) is still the assemblyman for Tronoh and an exco member.”