By Clara Chooi
KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 — The Perlis Speaker claimed this evening that Titi Tinggi assemblyman Yip Sun Onn, who caused an uproar yesterday when he quit his state seat, has withdrawn his resignation letter
Speaker Yazid Mat confirmed with The Malaysian Insiderthat he had received an SMS from Yip (right) in the early evening, informing him of his retraction.
“He is still the state assemblyman for Titi Tinggi. You do not have to worry about that,” he said when contacted.
Yazid said that in the text message, Yip had said that he had thought things through thoroughly and had decided to withdraw his resignation.
“His seat is not vacant,” said Yazid.
He, however, admitted that Yip had not sent him a formal letter of withdrawal, raising doubts over the legality of Yip’s chosen mode of communication.
When asked to explain this, Yazid refused further comment and said the decision was final.
“I am very tired. I think what I said is enough. The seat is not vacant,” he repeated.
Meanwhile, Yip continued to remain silent amid the entire furore he had caused.
The MCA man has been unreachable ever since news of his resignation spread yesterday.
The 52-year-old Padang Besar MCA chairman dropped a bombshell yesterday, when he submitted his resignation letter to Yazid, citing unhappiness with his party’s leadership as his reason for leaving.
Since then however, Perlis Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Md Isa Sabu and MCA leaders have been trying to coax Yip out of his drastic decision.
They have also refused to acknowledge that Yip had indeed resigned and claimed that the latter just needed to calm down.
Their move has drawn flak from certain quarters, like DAP’s Lim Kit Siang and even the Padang Besar Umno division members, who have accused Yip of showing disrespect to the state leadership.
The division members’ opinions, which was in blatant conflict with the mentri besar’s, is that Yip had threatened the state leadership and should not be persuaded to return to the state assembly.
Despite this, Yazid has refused to submit Yip’s resignation letter to the Election Commission (EC) and the commission has, in turn, confirmed today that it had not received the letter.
Should the resignation be accepted, the EC would have to call for a by-election within 60 days, Malaysia’s 10th since Election 2008.
Lim, in the meantime, has claimed that Yip’s withdrawal of the letter would only cast doubt on the validity of his status as an assemblyman.
He said that such a move would be questionable in court and insisted that the Speaker’s rightful duty was to submit the letter to the EC and not coax Yip out of his resignation.
In Hong Kong earlier today, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak also joined in the fray to deny that Yip’s resignation had been effective, saying that he had received confirmation from his deputy, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, on the matter.
Yip is believed to have resigned over his removal from the state Cabinet during its annual reshuffle process last week.
During Friday’s swearing-in ceremony, Yip’s portfolio was taken over by Dr Por Choo Chor, the assemblyman for Indera Kayangan.