Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Defection rumours: Jelapang rep keeps 'em guessing - Malaysiakini

Andrew Ong | May 13, 08 2:58pm

Jelapang state assemblyperson Hee Yit Foong from DAP neither confirmed nor denied rumours that she would be defecting to Barisan Nasional.

MCPX"I don’t want to be drawn into this discussion, if it is real, the truth will reveal itself in time... Time will tell," she said when quizzed repeatedly on this today.

Hee, who is also deputy speaker of the Perak state assembly, told Malaysiakini that she was aware of the rumours but claimed to be in the dark as to who were behind it and what were their motives.

"Rumours are just rumours. We cannot stop people from making rumours ... I have no time to find out where they come from," she added.

Hee created history on April 26 when she became the first female and disabled person to take up the role of deputy speaker of a state assembly.

Her appointment was however marred with controversy as she had repeatedly told the Chinese dailies of her unhappiness regarding the allocation of state executive councillor (exco) posts in Perak.

Among the contentions of the two-term state assemblyperson was that there were no females in the 10 member exco line-up revealed late March, of which half was made up of first-time state assemblypersons.

Hung assembly?

About two weeks before her appointment, China Press reported Hee’s suggestion for Perak exco for local government, housing and transportation Nga Kor Ming to be made either speaker or deputy speaker due to his legal background and three-term experience in the state assembly.

She said that even a female deputy speaker would not be able to speak up for women’s rights while chairing the state assembly.

Rumours of Hee’s defection has been making the rounds since then but this fizzled out with her appointment as deputy speaker.

However, the rumours were reignited again after a blog posting today by Hee’s party comrade and Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi who claimed that defections from the Perak Pakatan government would take place within the next few days.

Ooi however did not provide any details nor was Hee’s name mentioned.

Should Hee defect, Barisan and the ruling Pakatan Rakyat would have a razor-thin one seat majority in the state assembly.

Perak DAP chairperson and state senior exco member Ngeh Khoo Ham however denied the rumours and said that it was ‘old news' that was being recycled by the media.

"She is staying put and the question of her defecting doesn't arise. Any dissatisfaction that she has raised in the past has been dealt with," he said when approached at the Parliament lobby today.

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