Andrew had big plan for Sibu, says Soon Koh

Soon Koh (left) speaking to reporters at his residence. With him is his wife and Sibu police chief ACP Stanley Jonathan Ringgit.

SIBU, Feb 11: The late Datuk Andrew Wong, 43, who lived a full life, had a big plan for Sibu, according to his father, Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh, the International Trade and E-commerce Minister as well as Second Finance Minister.

Soon Koh, in a press conference at his residence here today, said Andrew had embarked on the plan to elevate Sibu to city status but the plan did not materialise because the latter’s tenure as deputy chairman of Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) was cut short.

“He was my own son but I must say that he was a brilliant young man. He had a big plan for Sibu.


“In fact, he told me many a time that he has mapped out development strategies for Sibu, not (only) in terms of agriculture, tourism and education, (but) also in terms of infrastructure.

“In fact, he had engaged consultants to study the six major traffic jam areas and the result was out and so on.

“However, he was not given a platform to play; he said he would wait until he has a proper platform to play. Otherwise, it would be out of place for an ordinary citizen to jumble up with politicians like that.

“So he said he would wait. When given the chance, he would do what needed to be done to help develop Sibu. He had all the plans,” said Soon Koh.

Soon Koh said while Andrew was the deputy chairman of SMC, there was already approval from the then Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to elevate Sibu to city status.

“It was done and approved by Datuk Seri Najib but then, you need to go through a process. But his tenure of office as deputy chairman of SMC was cut short.

“He said he wouldn’t continue because it was not right for him because he was no longer the right person to pursue that,” said Soon Koh.

Soon Koh stressed that Andrew passed away as a dignified person.

“But I must say, life goes on. My wife and I will remain strong. My son died as a dignified person,” he said.

He said yesterday morning, Andrew left home early at 7am and went with a four-by-four team, on jet ski to Tutus.

“He spent a lot of time at Rumah Nikah, Tutus, enjoying a good time with the longhouse people and of course, in the process, he drank quite a bit.”

“And he must have been very exhausted. You know driving jet ski is not easy. He drove all the way to Tutus and after that, he drove all the way back to Sibu,” said Soon Koh, adding that the journey took one hour one way.

He said after Andrew reached home, the latter went straight to his room to rest, which was normal for the latter who needed a good sleep after the trip.

Andrew was expected to appear for dinner but did not turned up and was later found unconscious on his bedroom floor by his mother Datin Sri Pauline Liong.

After efforts to resuscitate him failed, Andrew was pronounced dead by medical doctors who were called to the residence. — DayakDaily