Wee denies he intends to stand in next state election

Wee (second right) seeing off Abang Johari (right) and Juma'ani (third right), in the presence of his mother Datin Amar Kathryn Wee (left) and Masing (behind Kathryn).

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By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Jan 26: Chinese community leader Datuk Richard Wee has no intention of standing in the coming state election.

Instead, he will assist in various other ways where he can, he said.

“No, no. Politics is never my kind of thing,” Wee told members of the media after hosting Chief Minister Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at his Chinese Open House here today.

Also in attendance were the Chief Minister’s wife Datuk Amar Juma’ani Tun Tuanku Bujang, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Jemut Masing and his wife Puan Sri Corinne Masing, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah and his wife Datin Zuraini Abdul Jabbar, and Assistant Minister of Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali.

However, Wee stressed that he will assist the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government in its fight for a better Sarawak.

“But I will always assist in my roles in the different ways I can,” said Wee, who is the president of the Sarawak Federation of Chinese Associations.

Wee (fourth right) poses for a group photo with his guests at his Chinese Open House in Kuching today (Jan 26, 2020). On his left is Datuk Ibrahim Baki while Datuk Ahmad Ibrahim is at second right.

Wee was optimistic that Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) will perform better than in the previous state election held in 2016 where it won just seven out 13 seats it contested. The four remaining seats which are traditionally allocated to it to contest were contested by United People’s Party (UPP) candidates as direct Barisan Nasional candidates. UPP has since been rebranded as Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB). SUPP intends to contest all 20 seats traditionally allocated to it to contest in the coming state election due by next year.

“I was sharing with CM just now that as long as (GPS)… you have the interest and heart to fight for the right things, I think the people will be naturally behind you, particularly the Chinese community,” he emphasised.

He reiterated that after the last state election, SUPP leaders have been serving the grassroots.

“We hope the people will appreciate the hard work being put in, plus the fact that the opposition has been disappointing,” he said.

On business, he said it was becoming more challenging under the Pakatan Harapan government as the federal government has not been as transparent as it had promised in its general election manifesto.

“I hope the government side will have a ‘thought through’ policy that is business-friendly before its implementation. Otherwise if they keep on politicking, the economy will go to the dogs,” he said.

He also hoped that the Inland Revenue Board will be more transparent with its policy and not be suspicious of business entities.

“If there is ground for investigation, then carry on. But do it transparently because that’s what you have said you the government will do,” he stressed.

Wee in a photo with prominent lawyer Shankar Ram Asnani (left) and another guest at his Chinese New Year Open House in Kuching today (Jan 26, 2020).

On the spread of the Coronavirus which orginated from Wuhan, Wee said it would have minimum impact on Sarawak’s trade with China but it would affect the tourism sector.

“But fortunately, we are not so dependent on the Chinese tourists unlike Sabah,” he said.

On education, Wee who is also the chairman of the Committee Management of Kuching Chung Hua Middle Schools No. 1, 3 and 4, expressed hope that the new acting Minister of Education Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will adopt a more practical policy unlike his predecessor Dr Maszlee Malik who had courted controversy until his resignation recently. — DayakDaily