Fearing EC rejection, Paul Yong sends son to defend Tronoh

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The fear of being barred by the Election Commission (EC) from contesting as a candidate in the 15th general election has hindered incumbent Tronoh assemblyperson Paul Yong from defending the state seat in Perak.

Despite encouragement from voters in his constituency for him to contest in the national polls, Paul said it is a safer bet to field his eldest son, Bryan Yong.

“People kept asking me to contest. But because I know the EC could reject me, I don’t want to contest.

“So, I put (forth) my son,” he told Malaysiakini today.

Paul was a three-term DAP assemblyperson and former Perak executive councillor between 2018 and 2020.

However, his political career took a hit in 2019 when he was accused of raping a domestic helper at his home.

On July 27, the Ipoh High Court found him guilty and sentenced him to 13 years in jail and two lashes of the cane. He is appealing the decision.

Asked if he is confident of Bryan being his successor in the seat, the two-term Tronoh assemblyperson appeared nonchalant and somewhat lackadaisical.

“If he can win, we will continue to serve the people in Tronoh.

“But if we lose, never mind. We will continue to do our business. For me, it’s okay.

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“If the people still need us to serve, then we will serve them. If not, we can also take it (the decision).”

He also dismissed the label “traitor” put on him by his critics and stressed that it is merely an agenda brought about by his former party DAP.

“Nobody (in the constituency) thinks I’m a traitor. I quit DAP because the government already collapsed.

“You should understand, I did not get involved with any party to overthrow the government (at that time),” he insisted.

He insisted that Tronoh’s constituents still wish for him to serve the local community as he brought development to villages there.

“We brought development to every village in Tronoh, where we built basketball courts and multipurpose halls, and the people know this.

“The people in the constituency want to vote for me. They asked me to keep contesting because they want me to (provide) service to them.”

On March 9, 2020, Paul announced that he had left DAP to become an independent candidate following the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan state government in 2020.

In March last year, he joined Bersatu. However, his stay with the Muhyiddin Yassin-led party did not last long as he later defected and joined the fledgling Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM). – Malaysiakini