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Published: Wednesday April 15, 2009 MYT 2:10:00 PM
Updated: Wednesday April 15, 2009 MYT 3:29:15 PM
S’gor wants Eli Wong to stay as exco, assemblyman (Update2)
By WANI MUTHIAH
SHAH ALAM: Bukit Lanjan assemblyman Elizabeth Wong, who tendered her resignation after revealing photos of her emerged, has been asked to stay on as executive councillor and assemblyman by Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.
He said she was required to report to work Thursday as her leave expired Wednesday.
When she had tendered her resignation, Khalid had asked her to go on leave pending a decision.
Wong is expected to hold a press conference later Wednesday.
Khalid told a press conference that asking Wong to resume her duties was the right thing to do, even though she had tendered in her resignation
“The state government believes this is an appropriate and fair decision after taking into consideration views from all quarters, public interest and the fact that police investigations have to date failed to reach a conclusion,” he said after chairing the weekly exco meeting.
Khalid was accompanied by almost all of his exco members, including senior exco Teresa Wong and Datuk Dr Hassan Ali, who is the state PAS commissioner, when making the announcement.
The mentri besar also added that Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah had been briefed about the exco’s decision to retain Wong.
Khalid also thanked Sultan Sharafuddin for his stand in not interfering in political decisions and entrusting the state government to make a fair and just decision.
Khalid stressed that morality was of utmost importance to the state's Pakatan Rakyat government.
“We will ensure that this principle is strictly adhered to. Should there be any conclusive evidence of wrongdoings, the state government will not hesitate to initiate the necessary action,” he added.
However, said Khalid, the state government was also equally concerned in protecting the rights to privacy and would do its utmost to protect that right.
He reiterated that Wong was a victim and that even though it was an issue of morality, everyone was innocent until proven guilty.
Wong found herself in a quandary after some revealing pictures of her were sent to the media in early February.
She immediately tendered her resignation as exco member and elected representative citing that it was in the best interest of her party PKR.
Wong was granted long leave while the police conducted investigations and the exco debated on her status as exco member and assemblyman.
When asked if all the exco members had agreed unanimously to reject Wong’s resignation or if the decision to retain her was PKR’s, Khalid said what was discussed at the meeting would not be revealed.
He also stressed that it was the state government’s decision not to accept Wong’s resignation.
She went on leave on Feb 15 after some revealing pictures of her were posted on the Internet, and also tendered her resignation as exco member and assemblyman, saying that it was in the best interest of her party PKR and the state’s Pakatan Rakyat ruling coalition.
Other exco members have temporarily taken over Wong’s tourism, consumer affairs and environment portfolio. Khalid and senior exco Teresa Kok will handle tourism, Ean Yong Hian Wah will oversee consumer affairs while Rodziah Ismail and Dr Xavier Jayakumar will handle environment.
Rodziah also stood in for Wong in carrying out the official duties as Bukit Lanjan assemblyman.
The revealing pictures of Wong were sent to selected media outlets by unknown parties.
She lodged a police report and in the course of their investigations, police obtained a warrant of arrest for one Hilmi Malek, a former boyfriend of the assemblyman.
Hilmi, 32, was issued a notice under Section 111 of the Criminal Procedure Code to come forward and record a statement by March 19, but to date, there has been no word from him. He is believed to be residing in a neighbouring country.