SIBU: After a lapse of about six years, former deputy chairman of Sibu Rural District Council (SRDC) Clarence Ting returns to serve in a local authority but this time as the new Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) chairman.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg announced Ting’s appointment to replace the long serving Datuk Tiong Thai King in Kuching yesterday.
Abang Johari also announced that Datuk Wee Hong Seng is the new mayor of Kuching South City Council (MBKS).
The 60-year-old Ting is no newcomer to the local authority scene, having served in SRDC as deputy chairman between 2004 and 2013.
He is also Rajang Port Authority (RPA) chairman.
He received his early education in SMK Methodist and graduated from York University, Toronto, Canada.
He is actively involved in non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and is the Sarawak Society for the Blind (SSB) Sibu Division chairman and vice-chairman at the state-level.
He is also a member of the board of directors of SMK Kwong Hua.
In politics, he joined SUPP in the 1980s and currently is the party’s Pelawan branch chairman.
Meanwhile, SRDC chairman Sempurai Petrus Ngelai said of Ting: “To me, he is the right choice to helm the council judging by his vast experience as former deputy chairman of SRDC and currently the chairman of Rajang Port Authority.
“With his experience in both local council and port authority, I believe he can effectively discharge his duty as council chairman. As SRDC chairman, I look forward to working together with him.”
Sempurai stressed that it is important to have good understanding between both councils in order to serve the people under their respective jurisdictions efficiently.
Sibu Malay Community Association looks forward to Ting to continue Tiong’s good work, its chairman Rabek Ali Hamid said, adding “we hope that he (Ting) will continue what have been planned to make Sibu more vibrant”.
He also hoped that Ting would bring the cleanliness and hygiene of the town to a higher level.
“We also hope the council under his leadership will organise more events to attract more tourists to Sibu,” Rabek added.
Former entrepreneur Robert Tan said Ting had served many years in SRDC, and should be the perfect choice to become chairman of SMC.
“He is young and dynamic. He knows Sibu very well. In fact, he comes from a very prominent family and he should be able to perform well. Sibu needs a young person like Clarence to carry out the reforms, to improve the status of Sibu to become a city,” he opined.
Tan said Sibu is lacking behind Miri, hence needs a young entrepreneur and a successful man like Ting to uplift Sibu town.
“He owns one of the leading hotels in Sibu and he understands the industry very well. With his vast experience, for Sibu to become a city is just a matter of time,” he added.
SUPP Bawang Assan branch chairman Robert Lau, who is SRDC deputy chairman, also sees the appointment of Ting as SMC chairman as a right choice.
Lau believes that Ting, being experienced, will be able to bring new energy to SMC.
Meanwhile, deputy chairman of Sibu Melanau Association Mohamad Nazim Masni hopes Ting’s appointment will bring Sibu to greater heights.
He said with Ting’s experience in Sibu Rural District Council (SRDC) and as chairman of RPA, Ting could contribute more to Sibu in terms of economy, social development and culture.
“His appointment will definitely benefit the multi-racial community in Sibu.
“I hope that he can put emphasis on empowering the youth to contribute more to society,” he added.