Thursday, March 04, 2004

The Way Out - Tham Nyip Shen

Deputy Chief Minister-cum-Resource Development and Information Technology Minister, Datuk Nyip Shen has in January announced that he would not be contesting the Elopura constituency in the coming election.

Tham, who is Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) Deputy President, said he is prepared to play a new role as Member of Parliament. It would also be unfair to Elopura voters to keep on voting for the same person when his successor might have new ideas to develop the constituency, he said.

Tham said he was not running away from Elopura but considering taking up a new role as a Member of Parliament. SAPP President Datuk Yong Teck Lee had, in principle, accepted his decision.

Batu Sapi is the latest Sandakan parliamentary constituency under the Election Commission’s new electoral boundaries. Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) holds the Sandakan parliamentary seat, while Umno is in control of the Kinabatangan, Libaran and Beluran seats.

“The decision to allow my successor to contest the next election was not made overnight. It has been at the back of my mind for several years already.”

Tham, 45, said it took him 15 years to groom his choice of successor, thought did not mention who, but it was understood that the choice was Au Kam Wah, his political secretary. Aw is also SAPP assistant secretary general.

When seats allocation of the 11th election is almost certain, SAPP failed to lobby for the Sapi parliamentary seat. Tham is now caught with his own words and promises (wishes). He is out of his home and heading nowhere. He eventually took the noble way by opting out of the election. He was reported as saying he could still serve without governmental position.

SAPP was deeply sadden by Tham’s decision and trying hard to convince him to reconsider. There are also moves to convince Aw Kam Wah not to take up the Elopura state seat and return it back to his mentor. However, Tham was said to be very firm with his decision, which a politician seldom posses, and would not want to be change his mind.

This has come as yet another shock for the Chinese community. They have lost Yong Teck Lee (for the time being) and now Tham. Datuk Chong Kah Kiat of LDP was never in their list or either Dr Yee Moh Chai of PBS. Should there be no better decisions being derived, there would be a big political change in Sabah where Chinese is concerned.

With UMNO grabbing more than they should have, Non-Muslim bumiputera and Chinese seats are threatened and reduced. They have created a BIG time bomb which could explode at any time.

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