Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam was reported by The Borneo Post, at the book re-launching ceremony of a memoir by former state politician, the late Tan Sri Datuk Amar Stephen Yong.
Remain with BN to progress, Chinese told
by Antonia Chiam. Posted on January 28, 2011, Friday
KUCHING: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam said yesterday that the Chinese must stay with the government in order to progress.
“We must be inside the decision-making group for things to get done. There is no point shouting from outside as nothing can be accomplished,” he said at the re-launching ceremony of a memoir by former state politician, the late Tan Sri Datuk Amar Stephen Yong.
Dr Chan, who is Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) president, said history had proven Yong to be right in many things including his move in establishing the party.
“He (Yong) was everything a real politician should be.
He always told me not to worry about what others say as there will always be people who distract and say negative things. Just go ahead with what you believe is right, and history will prove you right,” he said.
Dr Chan pointed out that it was important for the Chinese to realise that the person they put up as their representative must be able to do things for the community and not just sweet-talk.
“Today, if the Chinese are not represented in the government, Sarawak would not have gone as far as it had.
Tan Sri Yong had helped to shape the racial unity that we have today, which enabled us to move forward in a fair and just society.
“Always be careful of people who sweet-talk as they can compromise our racial harmony and religious freedom,” he pointed out.
Dr Chan in his speech also commended Yong’s contributions to the state in the early days.
“His political foresightedness contributed greatly to the emergence of the state Barisan Nasional government in 1970, a political model stressing on power sharing, stability and racial harmony, which resulted in rapid social and economic development in the state.
“His wisdom, selflessness and righteous stand on issues such as Chinese education, communist insurgence, political detainees and the new villages brought about a significant change in the lives of people from all walks of life in Sarawak.
“Tan Sri Yong was indeed a great son of Sarawak,” he said.
Meanwhile, according to Yong’s son Philip, when the first edition of the book came out in 1998, there were already plans by Yong to re-edit it to include newer materials.
“Sadly the plan did not take place and my father passed away in 2001, shortly after his 80th birthday.
“I began the re-editing by rearranging the original material written in long-hand by my late father and making everything easier to read.
“Our family members and friends had helped a lot especially with the proofreading.
“Hopefully, the Chinese edition will be out by end of this year,” said Philip.
The memoir ‘A Life Twice Lived’, details the illustrious life of the late Yong, who served as deputy chief minister from 1970 to 1974 and as federal minister of science, technology and environment from 1982 to 1990.
He was the first local-born lawyer in the state and was involved in the formation of Malaysia.
Yong was one of the pivotal movers in establishing SUPP in 1959 and served as the party’s secretary-general for 22 years (1959-1981) and chairman for eight years (1982-1990).
‘A Life Twice Lived’ is now available at all major bookstores and is priced at RM25.