Hee Yit Foong

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Yang Berbahagia Dato'
Hee Yit Foong
Deputy Speaker of Perak State Assembly
In office
2008–2013
Member of the Perak State Assembly
for Jelapang
In office
2004–2013
Preceded by Newly created constituency
Succeeded by Teh Hock Ke
Majority 253 (2004)
6,707 (2008)
Personal details
Born Hee Yit Foong
(1963-12-04) 4 December 1963 (age 53)
Perak, Malaysia
Citizenship Malaysian
Political party Independent (from February 2009)
DAPPakatan Rakyat (until February 2009)
Spouse(s) Quay Chin Teik
Occupation Politician
Website Blog

Dato' Hee Yit Foong (simplified Chinese: 许月凤; traditional Chinese: 許月鳳; 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 (DAP) which she represented in the Malaysian general election, 2008 and becoming an independent aligned with the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN). 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]

Background[edit]

Hee walks with a limp from a case of polio she contracted at the age of 4.[5] She was state assemblywoman for Jelapang for two terms from 2004 to 2013 and was the first disabled woman to become the speaker of a Malaysian legislative body. She served as Deputy Speaker of the Perak State Legislative Assembly from March 2008 to February 2009. She was a member of the opposition DAP from the late 1980s until her resignation in February 2009 which subsequently caused the 2009 Perak constitutional crisis.[5]

Hee is married to Quay Chin Teik.[6]

Political career[edit]

On 4 February 2009, Hee was one of four assembly people who withdrew their support from the incumbent Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government. She announced that she would support the Barisan National coalition instead. This prompted a political crisis in the state.[7]

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.[8] 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.[9] Some people in her constituency reacted with anger[10] 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.[11]

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 (PR) government bought Toyota Camrys to replace an ageing fleet of Proton Perdanas.[12][13] 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,[12] would be getting the Camry after all.[12]

On 7 March 2009, Hee showed up at her Jelapang service centre for the first time since her defection.[14] 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".[14] 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.[15][16]

Honour[edit]

Hee was bestowed the honorary title “Datuk” by the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, on the occasion of his 82nd birthday on 19 April 2010.[17] Her husband Quay Chin Teik is also a recipient of the Federal Territories award Panglima Mahkota Wilayah (PMW) that carries the title “Datuk” on 1 February 2015.[6]

Election results[edit]

Perak State Legislative Assembly[18][19]
Year Constituency Opposition Votes Pct Government Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
2004 N31 Jelapang, P66 Batu Gajah. Hee Yit Foong (DAP) 8,231 48.64% Mah Hang Soon (MCA) 7,978 47.15% 16,921 253 70.39%
Foo Tiew Kok (KeADILan) 358 2.12%
2008 Loh Koi Pin (MCA) 5,512 28.40% Hee Yit Foong (DAP) 12,219 62.96% 19,409 6,707 74.20%
Sarasvathy a/p Muthu (IND) 1,275 6.57%

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jane Ritikos (5 April 2009). "Jelapang rep Hee speaks: No regrets, but says sorry". The Star (Malaysia). 
  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. ^ a b "Now Hee Yit Foong's husband gets datukship". Bernama. Malaysiakini. 2 February 2015. Retrieved 11 September 2017. 
  7. ^ "Barisan Nasional: We have the majority". The Star. 4 February 2009. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 4 February 2009. 
  8. ^ "Yit Foong: DAP Didn't Want Me". MySinChew.com. 7 February 2009. Retrieved 8 February 2009. 
  9. ^ "Nga: She's Distorting Facts". MySinChew.com. Sinchew-i Sdn Bhd. 8 February 2009. Retrieved 8 February 2009. 
  10. ^ "Quit now, crowd tells Hee". 8 February 2009. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  11. ^ "All Zambry's saying is give Hee a chance". The Malaysian Insider. 26 February 2009. Archived from the original on 26 February 2009. Retrieved 26 February 2009. 
  12. ^ a b c "Hee gets her Camry". The Malaysian Insider. 9 February 2009. Archived from the original on 11 February 2009. Retrieved 9 February 2009. 
  13. ^ "Ngeh says Hee wanted exco seat, but 'we can't please everyone'". The Malaysian Insider. 6 February 2009. Archived from the original on 8 February 2009. Retrieved 9 February 2009. 
  14. ^ a b "Jelapang folk are still angry with Hee". The Star Publications Malaysia. 8 March 2009. Archived from the original on 11 March 2009. Retrieved 8 March 2009. 
  15. ^ "Outcast Hee hops out of Election 2013". The Malaysian Insider. 12 April 2013. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  16. ^ "'Most Hated Woman In Perak' Hee Hops Out Of GE13". The Malaysian Insider. Malaysian Digest. 12 April 2013. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  17. ^ Martin Jalleh (15 January 2016). "Datuk Hee? So ‘Hee-larious’!". Lim Kit Siang for Malaysia. Retrieved 11 September 2017. 
  18. ^ "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen/Dewan Undangan Negeri" (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 4 February 2017.  Percentage figures based on total turnout.
  19. ^ "Malaysia General Election". undiinfo Malaysian Election Data. Malaysiakini. Retrieved 4 February 2017.  Results only available from the 2004 election.