KOTA KINABALU, March 29 — Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew described the late Sabah Health and Public Wellbeing Minister Datuk Stephen Wong Tien Fatt as a hard-working leader.
She said as a friend, Wong’s death was shocking and sad, and it was a loss for the people and the state of Sabah because he was a people-minded leader.
Liew said Wong, who was also Sandakan MP, was one of her political allies whom she had worked closely with during the General Election campaign last year to ensure the victory of Pakatan Harapan's coalition in the state, forming a new Sabah government with the Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan).
“I have never forgotten how we fought and worked closely together during the election campaign last year with Warisan to enable our coalition to take over (the administration of) the state government. He (Wong) was a hard-working leader.
“Still, his passing made me sad and I extend my condolences to his family,” she said when met by reporters after paying her last respects to the late Wong at Wisma Fook Lu Siew here today.
The public including family members, fellow leaders, government officials and staff of the Sabah Health and Public Wellbeing came as early as 9am this morning to pay tribute to the late minister.
Among them were state Rural Development Minister Datuk Ewon Benedict, former state Special Task Force minister Datuk Teo Chee Kang, former state Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Pang Yuk Ming, Kota Kinabalu City Mayor Datuk Nordin Siman and The United Sabah Chinese Community Association of Kota Kinabalu president Datuk Susan Wong.
Meanwhile, Teo, when met, said that although their political stance was different, Wong while in the opposition party was also a responsible leader and always strong in delivering the people's voice.
Wong, 65, who was also Sabah DAP chairman, died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kota Kinabalu at 12.15 pm yesterday, believed to be from a heart attack.
Prior to that, Wong left his house at 5.05 am to join a hiking group at Bukit Tambaig in Kampung Duvanson Putatan in conjunction with the launching of the Tambaiq Adventure Park.
His remains were currently placed at Wisma Fook Lu Siew and would be flown to Sandakan tomorrow morning for the official ceremony and final tribute before the funeral on Monday. — Bernama