Soon Koh dares Ho Leng to resign if university built
by Raymond Tan and Jane Moh, firstname.lastname@example.org. Posted on July 4, 2012, Wednesday
SIBU: Second Finance Minister Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh yesterday challenged Sarawak DAP chairman Wong Ho Leng to resign as the people’s representative should the proposed Sarawak Technology University in Sibu admits its first student intake in September next year.
In a press statement yesterday afternoon, Soon Koh, who is also Minister of Local Government and Community Development, said Ho Leng should resign from his posts as a state assemblyman and a member of parliament should he accept the challenge.
On the other hand, Soon Koh said he himself would resign from his ministerial posts in the State Cabinet if the proposed university could not be opened in time for its first intake at the stipulated time.
“It is only fair Ho Leng is held responsible for his words in misleading the people, and he should not stand in future state and parliamentary elections if the university can be opened in time.”
Soon Koh has rarely made challenges in his political career, and in the daring move yesterday, he stressed if Ho Leng loved Sibu, he should not belittle the town, especially with his political positions.
He told Ho Leng to “accept my challenge” and if he did not dare it would mean that he and his party were bending on the education issue to mislead the people.
Saying the opposition had been resorting to similar tactics for their political gains, he warned it would always be the people who were at the losing end.
“I am not surprised that DAP is bending on this issue again because this is what they have been doing.”
He said DAP had been harping on the Sarawak United College turning into Laila Taib College to destroy the plan for Sibu to have an institution of higher learning.
“We see the truth now. Today, there are 1,300 students in Laila Taib College who have the chance to receive free higher education.
“If this plan were destroyed by the opposition, the students from lower income families would have had suffered.”
Soon Koh was happy that parents of these students had not been swayed by the party as they still sent their children to the college.
On the proposed university, he said it would be built near Laila Taib College, adding the construction would kick off soon.
“But before that, the land must first be cleared.”
Earlier, Ho Leng had wanted to know why there were still no signs of the construction of the proposed university.
Speaking to reporters at the Old Airport Road yesterday, he said he had to ask this question because the government had stated that the construction would start in June.
“Now is already July, but there is no sign of construction works,” he lamented.
He also asked whether the construction of the university was Barisan Nasional’s tactic to win the coming general election.
He surmised that the government had declared to construct the proposed university college in June because it had expected the election to be held in July.
“It seems that it is unlikely that the election would be in July, so again we need to wait,” he said.
Wong said he had yet to know the exact site for the project.