Thursday, September 19

Dr Soon’s right hand man quits Sarawak United People’s Party

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SIBU: Political heavyweight Wong Ching Yong, said to be at the centre of the formation of the proposed Dudong branch, dropped a bombshell on New Year’s Day when he announced that he was quitting Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP).

Asked why, Wong said he had lost ‘every confidence in the central party leadership for its inconsistency, lack of sincerity and the will to reform SUPP’.

Wong, Datuk Dr Soon Choon Teck’s right hand man in the formation of the Dudong branch, described SUPP’s 2006 Special Delegates’ Conference as the last straw that broke the camel’s back.

According to Wong, the 2006 SDC had specially endorsed the Forward Plan that included important amendments to SUPP’s constitution so that the party could move forward.

“Unfortunately, after the 2006 SDC, the party central, for reasons best known to themselves, did not forward the proposed amendments to the Registrar of Societies as required under the Societies Act 1966.

Wong said he personally and verbally made queries on many occasions with Datuk Alfred Yap, the publicity secretary responsible for preparing the legal documentations.

“But unfortunately, he never gave me any reply,” he said.

Wong said he had submitted his resignation letter to the party central and it was up to them to deal with the matter.

“I do not mind playing the role of a small cog if SUPP party central has the will, courage and sincerity to implement the party reformation as promised by party leaders many, many times. Unfortunately, the party central leaders just talk and do not walk the talk,” he said.

Wong said if he continued to cling to SUPP it would only increase his sorrow.

“My heart for the party is dead and truly, if the party central still refuses to carry out reform, it will be the end of the road for the party,” he said.

Wong said SUPP is no longer a party that belongs to the people and that is why he believes he has made a good decision to resign from the party.

Asked if he intends to join any other party, Wong said the idea had never crossed his mind.

“I will take a good rest and wait and see.

“I should have a fresh perspective of things after Chinese New Year,” he said.

On allegations that he quit because he was unhappy at not being picked candidate for Dudong constituency in the coming state election, Wong said there was no truth in that.

“The candidacy of the Dudong constituency was not even discussed in the party central so this sort of allegation is unfair to me,” he stressed.

Wong, who joined the party in 1985, said he never cared about getting party positions.

In fact, after the Ming Court episode in 1986, Wong’s popularity in the party soared and in 1988, was elected one of the youngest committee members of Sibu branch.

“To me, it is my duty to serve the people and play a meaningful role in SUPP,” he said.

Wong also mentioned that he never regretted being involved in efforts to form Dudong branch.

“I have played my part to the best of my ability and I must say having to face Sibu branch was painful and very often, I was under tremendous pressure,” he said, adding that he learned more about politics and human nature in the last three months than the whole of his SUPP career spanning nearly a quarter of a century.

“It’s an experience that I will benefit from and cherish in years to come,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Soon, at a press conference held in his clinic, described Ching Yong as an intelligent and hardworking member whose resignation will be greatly felt by SUPP.

Dr Soon said he felt sorry for SUPP for losing a person as ‘bright, hardworking and people-oriented as Wong while the party is still struggling to have Dudong branch properly established’.

“Wong feels that the Dudong controversy cannot be solved in good time and that putting a lot of his energy and time to the matter is pointless.

“Of course, he has his good and bad points.

“His good points are he dares to say and write what others don’t, and that he is a straight-forward person who doesn’t hesitate to challenge based on principles.

“On the other hand, he might have offended some people,” Dr Soon said.

Dr Soon said he will continue to remember Wong as a party member who had sacrificed his ‘comfortable job’ because of his involvement in SUPP.

Wong has since set up his own company.

He said Wong felt that over the last three and half-years, he had spent so much time helping to strengthen the party but that when the time came to set up Dudong branch, the people directly involved had engaged in protracted quarrels.

According to Dr Soon, the Assistant Minister of Housing, Wong joined SUPP in 1985 and became an active member under the then president Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr Wong Soon Kai.

Dr Soon said Wong had built good relationship with 28 branches in the central region and that many members from these branches were appealing to Ching Yong to reconsider his decision.