IPOH: The High Court here has sentenced former Perak executive council member Paul Yong to 13 years jail and two lashes of the cane for raping his Indonesian domestic helper three years ago.
In delivering his judgment, Justice Abdul Wahab Mohamed found the 52-year-old Tronoh assemblyman guilty of the crime after considering all the evidence submitted.
He said the defence had failed to raise a reasonable doubt against the prosecution’s case.
“As an employer, you should be protecting her, especially when she has come from a different country, and not act according to your lust.
“This is a case where the proverb ‘harap pagar, pagar makan padi’ (trusting someone who ends up betraying us) fits.
“The court takes into consideration the public interest of this case, and a lesson not only to the accused, but also to those who have intention to commit a similar crime.
“A deterrent sentence is required as a warning with rape cases on the increase,” he said.
Earlier in his 45-minute judgement, he said the court has found that the victim is credible, honest and is telling the truth, and that her statements are convincing.
“The court also found that the victim did not make up any stories just to go back to her home country. There are also elements of afterthought from the defence witnesses.
“Also the point raised on a political ploy against the accused cannot be proved,” he added.
Yong’s lead counsel Datuk Rajpal Singh during mitigation said the accused is married with four children, and is the sole breadwinner of the family.
He said this was his client’s first offence, and that he had no previous criminal record.
Salim Bashir, the accused’s other counsel, said his client was a politician and assemblyman for nine years.
“As a politician, he has done a lot of welfare work helping the community. The case does not involve an underage victim or a case involving incest,” he said.
State prosecution director Azlina Rashdi asked for a deterrent sentence due to the nature and gravity of the crime.
She said a first-time offence, or no prior records didn’t necessarily translate to a lower sentence.
“The trauma that the victim went through will haunt her for life, especially when she was threatened when the incident took place.
“As a leader he should be portraying a good example, and should not bring down the dignity of a person.
“The example shown by the accused is not a good one, and to ensure others don’t follow what he did, a deterrent sentence is thus important,” she added.
Rajpal told the court that they would be filing for an appeal to the Court of Appeal.
The High Court also granted a stay of execution to Yong pending an appeal.
Abdul Wahab also increased the current bail to RM30,000 from the earlier bail of RM15,000 with one surety, and directed for his passport to be surrendered to the court.
When met outside the court, Indonesian Embassy first secretary Junjungan Sigalingging said the Embassy was satisfied with the decision.
He said the decision has shown that the Malaysian legal system is able to bring justice.
“Today we are grateful to God Almighty, and we highly appreciate the judge who had shown wisdom and fairness in presiding over the case,” he added.