(12 September 2002)

Kuala Lumpur: Datuk Yong Teck Lee, whose position as Gaya Member of Parliament is unclear after a Federal Court ruling, has decided not to attend the Dewan Rakyat for now to avoid embarrassing the House and the Barisan Nasional.

“I have refrained from attending Parliament for the first two days of this sitting,” the former Sabah Chief Minister said.

“I do not intend to even remotely cause any embarrassment to the Parliament, to the chair, the Government or the Barisan Nasional by turning up (at the Dewan rakyat) when my status is not clear,” he told reporters after meeting Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tun Dr Mohamed Zahir Ismail.

Yong stressed, however, that this did not mean he was vacating his seat. He was merely “staying away from my station” until an interpretation of his court case was provided, he said.

Asked what Dr Mohamed Zahir told him on the matter, Yong said:” I cannot speak on behalf on him but our understanding is that I am still a member of the Dewan, but for me to walk into the Dewan could provoke one or two others to raise the issue.”

He said he would not apply for leave from Parliament as he was not on extended absence. On Tuesday, Dr Mohamed Zahir said he and the Attorney-General’s Chambers were studying the relevant laws to determine Yong’s position as an MP.

“We are expected to make a decision soon. For now we cannot say anything,” the speaker was quoted as saying.

Yong’s positions as the MP for Gaya and as the Likas State Assemblyman have been brought to question after he failed to get the Federal Court’s permission to appeal against the Court of Appeal’s decision to uphold the Election Court’s ruling that he had committed corrupt practice during the 1999 state election.

Yong Wednesday said Dr Mohamed Zahir told him that his case was unprecedented and “so the Parliament cannot revert back to any precedent and decide on the next cause of action.”

Aspects of the law on the matter was still vague, he said, adding: “We have come to a situation where the law has to be interpreted. The Federal Court in its verdict did not make any specific order.” - Bernama

Datuk Yong Teck Lee
Memberof Parliament for P150 Gaya / State Assemblyman for N13 Likas






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