BINTULU, Dec 6 — Nicholas Tang Eng Hui will return to the electoral battlefield this Dec 18 after a hiatus of 30 years.
The 69-year-old lawyer is making a comeback as a candidate for Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) in Tanjong Batu in the coming 12th Sarawak election.
He said he was the founder of Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Bintulu branch in the 1980s.
“In 1991, I was supposed to be a candidate, already named by party chairman but (it was eventually) changed to Datuk Michael Sim, and I was out of politics until today – 30 years to be exact.
“So I am glad I have found a new platform, which is giving me the chance to serve the Bintulu people and the country especially in Sarawak,” he said.
According to Tang, another reason that prompted his return was because he had seen enough to make him feel sad about the situation faced by the people now.
“I’m not young, I am 69 years old. I wish I could contribute for the first time and (this) could be my last time to (serve) the people of Sarawak, especially Bintulu which I know the town so well.
“I came into this town in 1979, as a lawyer and being one of the pioneers in the legal practice in Bintulu,” he revealed.
He said if PSB was given the mandate to form the government, the first thing he would do is to bring reformation to the Bintulu Development Authority (BDA).
“The main issue is BDA; basically we have a lot of people’s problems, they are very trivial, very minor, but we can’t resolve it, ever since I came to this town.
“Why? Because BDA itself is like a government within a government; they are powerful and yet, they don’t do much. This is due to the system and the way it operates,” he said.
He conceded that BDA has now improved a lot since the day he came here, but there is still room for improvement.
“For other councils, they meet at least once in a fortnight but for Bintulu, at least meet once a month so we can solve a lot of problems and we don’t need so many politicians.
“Every day you see in the newspaper; I pity all the reporters, following them seeing the roads, drains and filthy parts of Bintulu, which is normal. We always have that.
“But if we have a proper council, then the councillor of each area will give feedback every fortnight in a meeting, so that it can be resolved very quickly without much publicity,” he said.
“We don’t touch the whole BDA, because as a development authority, they are experts in foreign investment, gigantic industrial projects and so on, and cannot disturb them.
“But day-to-day issues (that are) very simple, very minor — we don’t need politicians to disturb them; we just need to appoint qualified, hardworking councillors.
“The worst of all is they make the chief minister as chairman; how do you expect the chief minister to become an administrator for Bintulu?” he questioned.
Tang said he also wanted to reactivate all the sporting facilities and give the youths a chance to have more sporting activities.
He said Bintulu has a lot of facilities, but they are not fully utilised and are neglected to the extent that some have become white elephant projects.
He hoped the people could see the difference between him and ‘other so-called politicians’.
According to Tang, his agenda was very clear as it was not for himself, money, popularity, or the so-called kantow (a local colloquialism to describe proceeds from bribery).
“The same with SUPP, they have their own choice; I respect their wish and I hope they would also respect my wish in that I have found a new political platform that I can discharge my political duty that I have all this while in my blood.
“Because I was trained as a lawyer, (am) still practising law; I see too much good and the bad, the pros and the cons. (It’s the) same thing as politicians, but with a wider scope, we see what is right and wrong, and pursue the right,” he added.
The PSB candidate is expected to face a five-cornered fight in Tanjong Batu against DAP’s Tony Chiew, Johnny Pang of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK)’s Andy Yek, and Chieng Lea Phing of Sarawak People’s Aspiration Party (Aspirasi). — Borneo Post