FIRST-TERM Damansara Utama assemblyman Yeo Bee Yin tonight announced that she will not defend her seat, but will contest in Johor.

“I want to say ‘yes’ to making change in Malaysia possible, and to avail myself to make that change possible,” a teary-eyed Yeo said at the launch of her book, Reimagining Malaysia, in Petaling Jaya.

Present were DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang and Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua.

Yeo, who hails from Segamat, did not confirm whether she will contest a parliamentary or state seat in Johor, which DAP has identified as a front-line state in the 14th general election.

“It’s not decided (yet). The party will decide for me,” she told reporters after her book launch.

“All I know is that I have to go back to Johor to contest… and hopefully, to help with the Johor situation,” she said, adding that the state is a “key battleground”.

The 35-year-old chemical engineer by training, who holds a master’s degree from Cambridge University, won the Damansara Utama seat with 83.6% of the votes.

She secured victory by 30,689 votes – the biggest majority for a state seat in the country.

Her announcement is line with the party’s decision to shift seasoned lawmakers out of safe seats.

“One of the important elements for our party is to make sure we bring in new blood,” Pua told reporters.

“It is only when you bring in new blood that the party can renew and get better, and is more in touch with the population at large.  

“There will a fair number of new faces. The exact number hasn’t been decided yet, purely because we don’t know how many seats are available.

“Some will be created because of vacancies, such as in Teluk Datuk, and some because they (reps) move to other states.”

He said this will allow “younger people to move up, and not just the same old people”.

“I hope to retire soon, too, at some point.”

Yeo said her book delves into her experience as a young lawmaker, covering issues such as education, institutional reforms and the youth.

“I wrote this book so that young leaders can pick it up, and learn about issues and understand them a little bit more, before embarking on the journey as a lawmaker. I hope it’ll help you save time,” she told an audience of 300.

“Malaysia has a bright future, and it requires action from every one of us. I want to encourage everyone to dream again for Malaysia.”