Hee Yit Foong

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Hee Yit Foong (Chinese: 许月凤; pinyin: Xǔ Yuèfèng; born 4 December 1963) 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.

Hee walks with a limp from a case of polio she contracted at the age of 4.[5] She was state assemblywoman for Jelapang and was the first disabled woman to become the speaker of a Malaysian legislative body.[5]

Political career[edit]

On 4 February 2009, Hee 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 prompted a political crisis in the state.[6]

In an interview with Sin Chew Daily, Hee defended her defection on the grounds that she felt sidelined by the leaders of the Democratic Action Party (DAP) in her state.[7] 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 insisted that her action was right.[8] Some people in her constituency reacted with anger[9] at her defection. 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.[10]

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.[11][12] On 9 February 2009, The Malaysian Insider reported that Hee, who had been the subject of ridicule and abuse in and around her Ipoh hometown as well as in cyberspace,[11] would be getting the Camry after all.[11]

On 7 March 2009, Hee showed up at her Jelapang service centre for the first time since her defection.[13] Upon learning that she was there, a group of people started hurling abuses at her, such as "traitor who destroyed Pakatan" and "an ungrateful woman".[13] Hee had to leave the service centre hurriedly after 45 minutes because she feared for her safety.

2013 Malaysian General Elections[edit]

Although she claimed that anger against her had dissipated in the years following the Perak constitutional crisis, Hee did not defend her seat in the 2013 Malaysian general election. Hee stated that she hoped the Barisan leadership would appoint a local candidate instead, and reaffirmed her support for Barisan Nasional.[14]

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. ^ a b "DAP rep sworn in as Perak Deputy Speaker". The Malaysian Insider. 26 April 2008. Retrieved 4 February 2009. 
  6. ^ "Barisan Nasional: We have the majority". The Star. 4 February 2009. Retrieved 4 February 2009. 
  7. ^ "Yit Foong: DAP Didn't Want Me". MySinChew.com. 7 February 2009. Retrieved 8 February 2009. 
  8. ^ "Nga: She's Distorting Facts". MySinChew.com (Sinchew-i Sdn Bhd). 8 February 2009. Retrieved 8 February 2009. 
  9. ^ "Quit now, crowd tells Hee". 8 February 2009. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  10. ^ "All Zambry's saying is give Hee a chance". The Malaysian Insider. 26 February 2009. Retrieved 26 February 2009. 
  11. ^ a b c "Hee gets her Camry". The Malaysian Insider. 9 February 2009. Retrieved 9 February 2009. 
  12. ^ "Ngeh says Hee wanted exco seat, but 'we can't please everyone'". The Malaysian Insider. 6 February 2009. Retrieved 9 February 2009. 
  13. ^ a b "Jelapang folk are still angry with Hee". The Star Publications Malaysia. 8 March 2009. Retrieved 8 March 2009. 
  14. ^ "Outcast Hee hops out of Election 2013". The Malaysian Insider. 12 April 2013. Retrieved 18 March 2015.