GEORGE TOWN: DAP has yet to decide whether any action would be taken against its Perak state executive councillor Paul Yong Choo Kiong.
The Tronoh state assemblyman was charged at the Ipoh Sessions Court here today with raping his 23-year-old Indonesian maid last month.
DAP organising secretary, Anthony Loke said any decision on the matter should come from the party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC).
He, however, said they respected the whole legal process.
“As far as any action to taken by the party, we have not decided. The party leadership will meet and decision will come from the CEC,” he said when asked to comment on the matter.
Loke who is the Transport Minister was met at the launch of the unlimited travel Mutiara pass for Rapid Penang and Rapid Ferry.
Asked if DAP would advice Yong to take leave until the end of the case, he said Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu had issued a statement on the matter.
“Again, let the party decide. We have not met and discussed about that.
“Individual leaders can’t make any decisions. It has to be through the CEC,” he added.
Earlier today, Yong, who is the state executive councillor in charge of Housing, Local Government, Public Transport, Non-Islamic Affairs and New Village Issues, claimed trial to the offence.
He has maintained his innocence, saying that he never raped or sexually assaulted his maid, and insisted that justice and truth will prevail.
Meanwhile, Tenaganita Women’s Force executive director Glorene A Das applauded the police investigation team and the Indonesian Diplomatic Mission for a thorough and timely investigation, working towards seeking justice for the affected domestic worker.
“This action clearly highlights that the rule of law is abided and revered, even if the perpetrator is a Malaysian politician.
“Though yet to be proven guilty of raping his Indonesian domestic worker, it is another sad day for Malaysia,” she added.
According to Glorene, Tenaganita further recapitulates that these forms of abuse perpetuated against domestic workers are not isolated in nature or accidental.
She added that in the last five years, they had received at least 74 cases of sexual harassment, abuse and rape of migrant women workers and domestic workers in Malaysia.
She noted that for far too long, the abuses of domestic workers had been ignored and treated as a secondary issue with no importance, until a severe case is exposed and highlighted, what more of rapes of domestic workers.
“For victims, rape is often worse than death itself. In all the cases mentioned above, the state was culpable, either out of negligence or direct involvement in the grotesque treatment of women simply because domestic workers were not given the full protection as women and workers in Malaysia.
“This is one of the reasons why a separate legislation for domestic workers must be enacted and enforced, in focus of the welfare and protection of the rights of domestic workers in Malaysia, above all the recognition of domestic work as work.
“As Malaysians, we have an obligation towards all (local and migrant) domestic workers in Malaysia. We have a role to play in ending this vestige of slavery,” she stressed.
Glorene said Tenaganita continues to hope that justice prevails for the affected domestic worker, and if Yong is found guilty, that he be served the harshest of punishments.