Paul Yong’s rape trial postponed after close contact with COVID-19 case


IPOH – The High Court here today postponed the trial of Tronoh assemblyman Paul Yong Choo Kiong (picture) who is charged with raping his Indonesian maid three years ago, on the grounds that Yong and his wife came into close contact with a COVID-19 positive case.

Judge Datuk Abdul Wahab Mohamed set March 16, 30 and 31 for Yong to enter his defence after hearing the application of Yong’s lawyer, Datuk Rajpal Singh, and there was no objection from the prosecution.

Rajpal said Yong, who is also the main defence witness and his wife, Too Choon Looi, who is the second defence witness informed him that they were close contacts with Too’s sister who tested positive for COVID-19 on Feb 12 after doing PCR test and had to undergo self-quarantine.

“The status on their MySejahtera has also turned to orange. Therefore, the defence would like to apply for an adjournment because the main defence witness, the accused (Yong) himself, is unable to appear in court today and tomorrow,” he said.

The prosecution team was led by Perak prosecution director Azlina Rasdi, together with deputy public prosecutors, Liyana Zawani Mohd Radzi and Mohd Fitri Sadarudin, while Yong was represented by Rajpal and Salim Bashir.

Meanwhile, Azlina said there was no objection from the prosecution as it was a valid reason as COVID-19 was dangerous.

Rajpal also said that the witness statements of both husband and wife had been submitted to the prosecution on Jan 31.

When met by reporters outside the court, Rajpal said Yong, who had already received a booster dose, had to undergo self-quarantine at home until tomorrow.

Yong, 52, was charged with raping his 23-year-old maid in a room at his house in Meru Desa Park on July 7, 2019, between 8.15 pm and 9.15 pm.

The charge, framed under Section 376 (1) of the Penal Code, carries a maximum jail term of 20 years and whipping if convicted.

Yong, who was charged in the Sessions Court on Aug 23, 2019, while holding the position of state housing, local government, public transport, non-muslim affairs, and new village committee chairman, was scheduled to enter his defence today.