Tiong: Concerns for Sibu’s affairs genuine, not interference

Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing

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KUCHING, Nov 6: Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing insisted that his concerns for Sibu’s development was not an interference but instead out of his genuine concern for the people there as Sibu is his home town.

“Let me clarify that, as a politician, I would not choose to deliberately start a war of words or willingly attack others. Rather, I will express my personal opinions when forced to do so.

“As many know, although I am MP for Bintulu, Sibu is my birthplace, specifically Tulai, before I grew up in Jalan Lanang. Even now, I have many relatives still living in Sibu, including my own brothers, sisters, cousins and more. Is it wrong for me to come back for a visit?,” asked Tiong in a statement issued here today.

He was responding to a recent news report by a local Chinese daily whereby Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh had advised him (Tiong) to focus on Bintulu instead of commenting on the affairs of Sibu.

“The purpose of my statement is not to place the blame on anyone. However, because some of Sibu’s urgent needs still have not been resolved for so long, I took it upon myself to give my views and opinions with regard to Sibu to help steer the related issues toward a better direction. I have no wish to continue an endless and ultimately non-constructive war of words,” said Tiong, adding that Wong should update Sarawakians on the latest development of both University College of Technology Sarawak and Kolej Laila Taib, which are located in Sibu.

The Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president on the other hand acknowledged Wong’s assistance when he (Wong) campaigned for him (Tiong) when he first stood in Bintulu in 1999.

“I have not forgotten the first election in Bintulu where Wong came and join my campaign. And as one of his past students, it is only natural for me to remember and be grateful for his teachings. Even for that one time that he attended my campaign, I am still grateful.

“But on the contrary, if you don’t display any firmness or tenacity in pushing for local development in the interests of the people, you won’t make any progress.

“In any case, I wholly appreciate the reminder by Wong for his selflessly advice to serve the people of Bintulu well. I will certainly strive to do my best,” he said.

Tiong reiterated that he has refrained from making comments regarding Wong in his five terms as an MP for Bintulu.

“But now, since the last general election, under the previous Pakatan Harapan government, we have witnessed the economy continuing to derail and the quality of life worsening for our people.

“I have said many times. As a politician, you must have a sincere heart in your service to the people, not just lip service. I would like to ask the former Minister for Sarawak where his heart lies? When you live in Kuching, don’t you find yourself concerned for the issues affecting Sibu as well?,” Tiong asked.

Tiong who is also the Special Envoy to the People’s Republic of China pointed out that politicians must show that their intentions are sincere in facing any obstacles in the most effective way possible.

“In addition to my duties as the Special Envoy to the People’s Republic of China, I have repeatedly called on all parties to cooperate in a post Covid-19 environment to encourage more pro-business investments in Malaysia, especially in Sarawak.

“I will certainly make every effort to work with businesses and related government departments at home and abroad to attract foreign investments. Currently, I will focus on solving problems faced by domestic investors and speed up the related investment procedures. The borderless nature of the Internet has provided a solid foundation for post-pandemic economic recovery,” he said.

Tiong said, as responsible politicians, they must learn from the past and turn things around for the people’s future and stop whitewashing the facts.

“We should be humble and improve the people’s lives including correcting and apologising sincerely for our shortcomings.

“I hope Wong can understand that people in politics must learn to let go of old ideas and not rely on their incumbency and positions to stay in office indefinitely. If I am underperforming in the political arena, I am willing to apologise to anyone,” he added. — DayakDaily