Friday, December 26, 2003

Chong Kah Kiat, The Trouble Maker?

The former Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Chong Kah Kiat is very quiet lately. It is something unexpected of a politician in view of the coming state and general election. He has been very much mellowed down his appearance in the local dailies.

It is however understandable because he has got himself strangled in various trouble. The most recent one being the application of 8.5 acres of land by Kota Kinabalu Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KKCCCI). During Chong's tenure as the Chief Minister he approved Sabah Urban Development Corporation (SUDC)'s application on the same piece of land thus overlapping on KKCCCI’s earlier application. Both parties now state their claims.

Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) took up the issue and blamed Chong for denying the KKCCCI's right as the first applicant. They also accused him of being anti-Chinese. Chong kept very quiet on the accusation. It is his style of avoiding issues which he is guilty of. However some of his men came out with various statements to support. These men, whom their personality and credibility is questionable, produce no solid proof. They merely supporting Chong from what they believe which is mere assumption. They though he is sincere and would never do such things to betray the Chinese communities in Sabah. Some even said that Chong would forever be right, nearing him to God.

Even though the Land & Survey department’s Director, Datuk Mohamad Jafry said in a statement published on Dec. 9, that the disputed land was still State-owned with no titles given out yet, the issue has opened the eyes of the public of who the real Chong Kah Kiat is.

It was also reported that when Chong was still the Chief Minister, he has angered many colleagues from UMNO, UPKO and PBRS. For example he has question and queried every single reason of his ministers' leave application. His relationship with UMNO is only at face value. UMNO branches in Kudat have gathered and came up with memorandum to request Barinsan Nasional top leadership to drop Chong as a candidate during the coming election.

Chong has lost his support from the Malay. He could not count on the Chinese voters as well. Besides a few of his cronies who have benefited from him would keep supporting him, the rest of the Chinese are angry with Chong for his claim that he does not need to support of Chinese because Kudat is a Malay majority area. He was counting on the Malay to win, then. The situation has changed due to the dissatisfaction from both Chinese and Malay.

Within his own parties, he is at loggerhead with his deputy and party members from Sandakan and Tawau. He has openly called for their resignation during the November party congress in Kota Kinabalu, saying that they are too old to serve. Datuk Lau Ngan Siew, Datuk Wong Lien Tat, Datuk Michael Tan Kim Boo and Datuk Anthony Lai, all from Sandakan, were deeply disappointed.

Even Chong tried very hard to win the Chinese's heart he has not been successful. Just before Datuk Yong Teck Lee was elected as the first Chinese Chief Minister of Sabah in the rotation system, Chong said Chinese in Sabah is not suitable to be the Chief Minister. He was clearly trying to undermine Yong's opportunity and the Chinese community.

There was also a story circulated among the Sabah politicians about Chong's role on the appointment of current Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Musa Aman. Chong was against Musa being the CM. He prefers Datuk Lajim Okin. He has teamed up with Lajim and Lajim's brother-in-law, Liew Yun Fah, to bring down Musa, through the former PM Tun Dr Mahathir. Musa was however chosen despite all the dirty tricks played by Chong and his gang. Chong is now fighting a losing battle in trying to keep him in the good book of Musa.

Liew Yun Fah, mean while claims himself as the designated candidate for Tawau in the coming election. He is acting as if he is the elected representative. He forced transporters to help him to clear rubbish and blaming the local authorities for not doing their work. He called for dialogues with the kampung folks condemning the elected representatives for being lazy.

Liew, being notoriously known for his lack of manners and protocol has offended many people. The public feels insulted and embarrassed for his childish conduct. He is also making use of Askar Wataniah 516 for his personal interests. He hired reporter to publish exaggerated reports and portraying himself as the Chinese leader who cares. The reporter he hired, Michael Lee, is famous for writing for money. He is easily bribed and irresponsible. This mess is started by Chong Kah Kiat. Liew is expected to officially join LDP soon with Chong personally accepting him in a big ceremony.

Chong Kah Kiat, trouble maker or trouble shooter? Let the public judge.

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