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Published: Sunday April 5, 2009 MYT 9:19:00 PM

Jelapang rep Hee speaks: No regrets, but says sorry

KUALA LUMPUR: Jelapang assemblyman Hee Yit Foong finally broke her silence to say she had no regrets quitting her party DAP, an act that helped lead to the fall of the Pakatan state government in Perak.

Hee did not regret her actions, saying she was the one who was “kicked out” by DAP, but apologised to her constituents for the way things had turned out.

At a press conference here on Sunday, her first since she resigned in early February, she said, “I never imagined things would be this bad.”

“When other people leave their party it is no big deal, but when I did, the people were in chaos. But I understand the people’s dissatisfaction and I don’t blame them,” she added.

Saying that there was no reason for her to vacate her seat, Hee smiled when asked how she could continue as an assemblyman with such anger towards her that she was even labelled “the most hated woman in Malaysia.”

“That is their view. What is important is that I am able to develop my constituency,” said Hee, who denied she was ever approached by Barisan Nasional or received any reward to abandon ship.

“Even now I have never attended any Barisan function,” said Hee, who even produced her and her husband’s passport to prove it was not true that they had gone on a holiday to Hong Kong right after her resignation.

“I have never been in contact with Barisan people,” she said, adding that she left DAP due to internal problems and because her grouses were being ignored by the party leadership.

Her complaints included her claim that her quota for a special officer was taken by DAP Perak chief Ngeh Koo Ham. She also denied accusations that she had asked for a datukship and applied for timber contracts.

To a question, she said she chose to be an independent friendly to Barisan because she wanted to ensure she would get allocations to develop her constituency.

Her resignation, along with those of former PKR assemblymen Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu (Changkat Jering) and Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi (Behrang), led to an impasse in the state assembly.

Both Barisan and Pakatan Rakyat were tied at 28 state seats each, but the three reps pledged their loyalty to Barisan before the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, who then decared that Barisan had the majority and should be allowed to form the state government.

On whether she would support all Barisan motions in the state assembly, Hee said: “It depends if the motion is in the people’s interest. I will support such even if the motions are by the Opposition.”

Asked why she did not join another Pakatan party but chose to side with Barisan, she said she did not want to cause a split among the Pakatan partners. “But I would like to stress that I did not leave to join another party,” she added.

On why she was holding a press conference now and in Kuala Lumpur, she said it was because of media requests and because she did not want to be associated with the three by-elections scheduled for next Tuesday.

“I’m not going to Bukit Gantang (in Perak) or Bukit Selambau (in Kedah) for the campaign because I am an independent,” she said.

The third by-election is in Batang Ai in Sarawak.

She also denied she and her family were ostracised and publicly harassed. She admitted that the first week after her resignation she received SMS threats and her mother was once scolded by a DAP female member.

“I myself was never scolded to my face. I did not go to my service centre for the first one month because friends advised me to stay away for fear of my safety,” she said.

Hee said that she had been going to her constituency as normal but that she never publicised it.

Previous stories:
Jelapang folk are still angry with Hee
Quit now, crowd tells Hee
Angry group protests at Hee’s centre

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