Hee Yit Foong

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Hee Yit Foong (Chinese: 许月凤; pinyin: Xǔ Yuèfèng) is a Malaysian politician who is infamous for her role in the 2009 Perak constitutional crisis by resigning from the Democratic Action Party which she represented in the Malaysia General Election in 2008 and becoming an independent aligned with the ruling Barisan Nasional. Her dramatic action was seen as an act of betrayal by many in her Jelapang constituency and has earned her unpleasant nicknames from the angry voters and Malaysian public such as ‘traitor’ and ‘frog’.[1][2][3][4] She served as Deputy Speaker of the Perak State Legislative Assembly from March 2008 to February 2009. She was a member of the opposition Democratic Action Party from the late 1980s until her resignation in February 2009 which subsequently caused the 2009 Perak constitutional crisis. She is also currently one of a handful of Malaysian politicians with a hatred Facebook group devoted to her.[5]

Hee walks with a limp from a case of polio she contracted at the age of 4.[6] She was state assemblywoman for Jelapang and was the first disabled woman to become the speaker of a Malaysian legislative body.[6]

Political career[edit]

On 4 February 2009, she was one of four assembly people who withdrew their support from the incumbent Pakatan Rakyat government. She announced that she would support the Barisan National coalition instead. This has prompted a political crisis in the state.[7] Malaysian Insider which is one of the independent, non-mainstream online newspapers in Malaysia published an article entitled 'Remember the four frogs that fooled all' describing that Malaysians would always remember the four (one of whom is Hee Yit Foong which now branded as Ng Sam Kwai) who had caused the downfall of the Perak government governed by the Pakatan Rakyat by defection not by fresh mandate from the people in their constituencies.[8]

Hee in her interview with the Sin Chew defended her action of defecting as being sidelined by the leaders of the Democratic Action Party (DAP) in her state.[9] However, the following day, Perak DAP secretary Nga Kor Ming, told Sin Chew that DAP not only had groomed her from a largely unknown person into a state assemblywoman, but had also made her the first non-Malay female deputy speaker in the country's history and he would have nothing further to comment if Hee still insists that her action is right.[10] After all, she would be the one who needs to face the people in her constituency and hometown in Jelapang.[11] Many different objects have been thrown, hung and left at her home and service centre while an effigy of her was also burnt in a mock Chinese funeral rite following her defection and resignation from DAP.[12]

Hee, the first non-Malay woman deputy speaker in Malaysia, was said to have been unhappy with the state party leadership for not being selected for a state exco seat, and because she did not get a new official car when the Pakatan Rakyat government bought Toyota Camrys to replace an ageing fleet of Proton Perdanas.[13][14] On 9 February 2009, Malaysia Insider reported that Hee, who has been the subject of ridicule and abuse in and around her Ipoh hometown as well as in cyberspace,[13] would be getting the Camry after all as it confirmed that two of the new exco members will be Chinese, with the other being Chenderiang state assemblyman Dr Mah Hang Soon, who is also MCA Youth deputy chief.[13]

On the 7th of March 2009, Hee showed up at her Jelapang service centre for the first time since her defection.[15] A group of people were really angry upon knowing that she was there, started hurling abuses at her such as being "traitor" and "an ungrateful woman".[15] Hee had to leave the service centre hurriedly after 45 minutes because she feared for her safety. Besides that a silver Mercedes Benz bearing a Kuala Lumpur car plate was seen parked and was the transport for Hee to the service centre.[15] Also, it was said that Hee would be moving her service centre in the near future as the owner would no longer rent the place to her. .[15]

7th May State Assembly[edit]

Apart from that, Hee also attacked a handicapped state member of the Pakatan Rakyat with pepper spray. With obvious evidence of a photo and recordings, Hee remains ignorant and insisted that she was just holding on to a handy drive.[16] A video uploaded to YouTube clearly shows her holding and using pepper spray in the direction of assemblyman Yew Tian Hoe, not a handy drive as she has claimed earlier.[17] She claims she was only holding it up to demand if Yew was the person who threw the pepper spray at her although video recordings clearly show her not uttering a single word to Yew during the incident. She also claims not to know how to operate the device although she seems to operate the pepper spray without flaw as seen in the same video.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/4/5/nation/20090405211932&sec=nation#
  2. ^ http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/2/6/nation/3209647&sec=nation#
  3. ^ http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/2/8/nation/20090208110837&sec=nation#
  4. ^ http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/malaysia/17607--remember-the-four-frogs-that-fooled-all
  5. ^ http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=53957241405
  6. ^ a b "DAP rep sworn in as Perak Deputy Speaker". The Malaysian Insider. 2008-04-26. Retrieved 2009-02-04. 
  7. ^ "Barisan Nasional: We have the majority". The Star (Star Publications (Malaysia) Berhad). February 4, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-04. 
  8. ^ "Remember the four frogs that fooled all". The Malaysian Insider. 2009-02-04. Retrieved 2009-02-04. 
  9. ^ "Yit Foong: DAP Didn't Want Me". MySinChew.com. 2009-02-07. Retrieved 2009-02-08. 
  10. ^ "Nga: She's Distorting Facts". MySinChew.com (Sinchew-i Sdn Bhd). 2009-02-08. Retrieved 2009-02-08. 
  11. ^ "Quit now, crowd tells Hee". The Star (Star Publications (Malaysia) Berhad). 2009-02-08. Retrieved 2009-02-08. 
  12. ^ "All Zambry’s saying is give Hee a chance". The Malaysian Insider. 2009-02-26. Retrieved 2009-02-26. 
  13. ^ a b c "Hee gets her Camry". The Malaysian Insider. 2009-02-09. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  14. ^ "Ngeh says Hee wanted exco seat, but ‘we can’t please everyone’". The Malaysian Insider. 2009-02-06. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  15. ^ a b c d "Jelapang folk are still angry with Hee". The Star Publications Malaysia. 2009-03-08. Retrieved 2009-03-08. 
  16. ^ "Hee denies 'robbing' speaker's powers". 2009-07-05. 
  17. ^ "Assemblyman splashed with pepper spray by Hee Yit Foong". 
  18. ^ "Hee: It was not my pepper spray". 2009-05-11.