Friday, February 15, 2008


Chong to defend Sandakan seat


Incumbent independent Member of Parliament Chong Hon Min said he would defend the Sandakan seat that he won during the 2004 general election. “Yes, I will be contesting in the coming general election but will only announce which banner I am going to contest under at an appropriate time,”. Chong disclosed when contacted on Wednesday. Chong, a former banker, created an upset in the last general election when he defeated the then Barisan Nasional incumbent and LDP deputy president Datuk Lau Ngan Siew by 1,330 votes in a three-cornered fight for the predominantly Chinese seat. Chong polled 9,538 votes while two-term parliamentarian Lau managed to secure 8,208 votes. Pasok’s Liaw Teck Khin obtained only 543 votes. Touching on the four years as an elected representative of the Sandakan people, Chong said he was satisfied with his performance and believed he had served the Sandakan constituents to the best of his ability. “During this period, many local folks came tome with their problems and I had given priority in helping to resolve them. I raised the complaints with the relevant authorities, seeking their assistance for a solution. I highlighted important issues affecting the people of Sandakan in parliament,” Chong said. Despite being an Independent member of parliament, Chong said he supported the Barisan Nasional’s development programmes, adding that he had even applied to join Barisan Nasional component party, SAPP. He added that when his application was put on hold, he left the matter as where it was and continued with his duty of serving the Sandakan constituents. Meanwhile, to a question whether this east coast town has seen improvement and development over the last four years, this is what Chong has to say: “Sandakan has experienced changes and progress over the past few years. “We have better infrastructures, improved basic amenities. Electricity has been gradually improved and we have seen lesser power outages nowadays. “The water problem is set to be overcome with the completion of the new treatment plant this September.” “With a strong economy and continuous growth, I believe Sandakan is in for more successes in the years to come,” he said.