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Paul Yong arrives at the Ipoh High Court August 17, 2021. — Picture by Farhan Najib
Paul Yong arrives at the Ipoh High Court August 17, 2021. — Picture by Farhan Najib

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IPOH, Aug 18 — The movement of Desa Meru Park residents and their visitors came under scrutiny in today’s rape trial involving Tronoh assemblyman Paul Yong.

Despite being a gated and guarded residential neighbourhood that is equipped with closed circuit cameras (CCTV), Desa Meru Park security guards do not have an easy time keeping track of the comings and goings of its residents and visitors.  

And even though there are records of the movements, the guards do not always know the identity of the persons going in and out, the High Court heard today.

A. Murugiah, a former Desa Meru Park security supervisor, testified that he saw a woman walking out of the residential area to the main road at around 1.23pm on July 8, 2019. It was the day after Yong was alleged to have raped his then Indonesian maid.

“I know the woman was walking past the guardhouse, but I don’t know who the person is,” the prosecution witness said under cross-examination from Yong’s lawyers Datuk Rajpal Singh and Salim Bashir.

The defence lawyers questioned Murugiah further, asking if guards on duty at the guardhouse records information of those exiting the gated community or just lets them leave without recording anything.

Murugiah said the guards will record the information in their logbook.

Under questioning, Murugiah told the court that Desa Meru Park has a total of 24 CCTV cameras.

However, he said not all of them were functioning and that there were no cameras installed along the path leading to Yong’s house.

He was then asked by Salim if the absence of CCTV cameras near Yong’s house made it difficult to track the movement of people in that particular area.

Murugiah agreed that it did.

The defence lawyers also asked Murugiah the reason he resigned from the job in the same month of the alleged rape incident.

“I quit because I was not satisfied with the residential management committee and too much pressure on the work,” he replied.

Another prosecution witness who stepped into the witness stand today was Yong’s friend Lee Yeong Wai.

The 39-year-old businessman told the court that he and his wife visited Yong at the latter’s house on July 7, 2019, which is the alleged day of the rape incident.

Lee said he was travelling from Kuala Lumpur and reached Yong’s house around 8.30pm that day.

“After arriving at Yong’s home, he invited me for a chat at the table outside the house.

“After that I left for my home and reached there around 9.20pm. The journey from Yong’s house to my house is about 20 minutes,” he said.

Under cross-examination from Rajpal, Lee told the court he did not see Yong’s then Indonesian maid at the house on that day. He also noted that it was a Sunday.

As of today a total of 22 witnesses, including the two main witnesses, the victim and the person who brought the victim to lodge police report, have testified in the trial.

The trial will continue before High Court Judge Datuk Abdul Wahab Mohamed on September 27 and 28.

Yong, 51, pled not guilty to a charge of raping his Indonesian domestic helper at his house in Meru Desa Park on July 7, 2019 between 8.15pm and 9.15pm.

The case had been mentioned in the Sessions Court but, on December 15 last year, the Federal Court allowed an application by the defence to transfer the case to the High Court.

The Tronoh assemblyman was first charged in the Sessions Court here on August 23, 2019, when he was the state Housing, Local Government, Public Transport, Non-Islamic Affairs and New Villages Committee chairman.

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