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Published: Tuesday February 17, 2009 MYT 5:47:00 PM
Some commend Wong, others slam her offer to quit
SHAH ALAM: Bukit Lanjan assemblyman Elizabeth Wong’s offer to quit her seat and position as a state executive councillor was greeted by kudos and brickbats.
Indecent photographs of the 37-year-old PKR member were sent to select newspapers, prompting her to lodge a police report and proffer her resignation, which party leaders have declined to accept.
She says the photographs, including some of her asleep, were taken without her consent.
Selangor opposition chief Datuk Seri Dr Khir Toyo commended her for offering to resign, saying it was the right thing to do.
Dr Mohd Khir said that it was an unfortunate turn of events but said he appreciated Wong’s move to immediately resign.
“It is good that there is a trend in Malaysia now whereby embattled elected representatives readily resign from their posts,” he said.
Bukit Selambau assemblyman and Kedah state exco V. Arumugam also resigned recently after a scandal threatened to erupt due to his alleged bigamy.
Wong’s offer to resign and the photographs themselves were the talk in Parliament in KUALA LUMPUR on Tuesday.
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen said her decision to quit should be respected, adding that “she is going through tough times.”
“Her resignation shows she is taking responsibility and has integrity,” said PAS information chief Mahfuz Omar.
MCA Youth chief Dr Wee Ka Siong said all should respect her decision, and added that Barisan Nasional would be ready to face another by-election.
In ALOR SETAR, Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai questioned why Wong needed to resign when she said that she had done nothing wrong.
“She said that she had done nothing wrong and was framed, so why must she resign? Why can’t she wait for the police to conduct their investigation?,” he said after visiting the Pokok Sena Health Clinic.
In MALACCA, Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said he was not surprised by Wong’s resignation and described her decision as appropriate, “considering her standing and the nature of the photos.”
“Being photographed in the nude is something Malaysians are unable to accept, in particular when it involves a state exco and assemblyman,” he told reporters after opening the 3rd Annual Conference of Asian Cities Against Drugs.
In KUCHING, National Council of Women’s Organisations vice-president Lily Yong Lee Lee said there was no need for Wong to quit.
“It is unfair to ask her to resign. If she has not done anything wrong and the people (still) want her, she need not have to resign,” she added.
Yong, also Sarawak United People’s Party Kuching branch chief and former Padungan assemblyman, said she sympathised with Wong.
In GEORGE TOWN, former de facto Law Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim expressed disappointment over the circulation of the nude photographs, saying it had taken politics to a new low.
“It’s unfortunate that people have taken advantage of her and the photographs. It’s also unfortunate that politics has become so dirty.
“Politics is never clean, but this is a new level. I feel sorry for her, but whether she should stay or not is for her to decide,” Zaid told reporters after delivering the keynote address at the Third National Self-Advocacy Conference 2009.
Zaid said the views of Wong’s constituency should also be taken into account.
“Whether she should resign as a state assemblyman depends on the constituency. If they say she should not, she should not.
“Personally, I don’t think she should resign as an assemblyman unless the people of Bukit Lanjan are so angry with her … . If they can accept (her), she should stay,” he said, adding that Wong’s position as a Selangor exco member should be left up to Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.