Hornbill Unleashed

August 7, 2012

Keep politics for later, Sarawak undergrads told

FMT Staff

Sarawak BN-SUPP fears a backlash from rising youth involvement in politics.

Undergraduates in Sarawak have been advised to focus on their studies and not get distracted by the politics of the opposition.

While agreeing that the young are “free to chose” their political affiliations, Deputy Works Minister Yong Khoon Seng said they should, however, prioritise their studies and future.

Yong’s comments at the opening of the National Undergraduates Fellowship at the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) headquarters recently speaks of its concern with the political alliances of the young voters in Sarawak.

Sarawak has about 300,000 young voters, including the undergraduates. According to past reports these young voters make up some one-third of Sarawak’s registered voters.

Yong, who is Stampin MP, urged the young not to be “overly” involved in politics.

“Getting to know what is going on in society doesn’t mean you should get your feet wet or be involved in any political activities and illegal rallies.

“You are free to choose which political party you want to join but concentrate on your studies first,” he said.

Yong hoped that as “matured individuals”, the young will “will learn to view issues from various angles and not get easily carried away by certain quarters”.

Stampin under threat

Yong’s speech was also aimed at the youths in his Stampin constituency.

The Barisan Nasional coalition of which SUPP is a member is facing an upward battle to retain the Stampin parliamentary seat.

The Stampin constituency has 75,798 voters (according to last year’s electoral rolls), of which 53,417 voters are Chinese. The rest are Dayaks.

Following last April’s state election, three state constituencies – Batu Kawah, Batu Lintang and Kota Sentosa – fell to the opposition. DAP now holds Batu Kawah and Kota Sentosa while PKR has Batu Lintang. All three seats come under the Stampin parliamentary constituency.

The swing towards the opposition, especially in the urban and semi-urban seats, was attributed to the increasing number of young voters in the state.

According to Universiti Malaysia Sarawak political analyst Jeniri Amir, young voters are exposed to the new media and know exactly what they want.

“They, together with the rural young voters, are very much concerned with issues related to good governance and clean leadership, as well as employment.

“These voters are the more idealistic type of voters [and therr impressions will have] far-reaching effects,” he reportedly said, adding that a study conducted by the university showed that only 20% of the Chinese youths were happy with government policies.



  1. Students have been taught by good teachers and caring parents to set their goals in life while still in secondary schools and discipline themselves to establish a strong vision by the time they enroll for tertiary education. The recent advice by a Deputy Works Minister from SUPP, Mr Yong Khoon Seng, was indeed counter productive and a regressive stance as politic of good governance is a prerequisite for a progressive and successful nation and for all Malaysians..

    It is a real shame for Yong Khoon Seng prior to his decision to retire from active politic to dissuade and discourage undergrads to be active in politic and set their minds to be good and trust worthy leaders of this nation.

    Comment by Mata Kuching — August 7, 2012 @ 5:57 PM | Reply

  2. What rubbish is this Yong Khoon Seng talking about! Why should these undergraduates not be interested in current politics of the country. Why, what happens now will affect them later when they graduate, work and decide to start their own families. Gosh, how do these people get to be ministers in this country?

    Comment by Ling — August 7, 2012 @ 4:23 PM | Reply

  3. Student must involve in politic to understand more in order to provide them better knowledge what is call “Politic”. So that, they will able to perform better during exam.

    Comment by Mike- Johor — August 7, 2012 @ 12:28 PM | Reply

  4. ….only the old ignoramus are welcome to involve in Malaysian politics. The young and informed are not welcome as they ask BN too many questions.

    Comment by RC — August 7, 2012 @ 12:10 PM | Reply

  5. Undergraduates in Sarawak also must know why Lim Kit Siang once called Yong Khoon Seng as:
    “…You are incompetent and you are useless. The prime minister should sack you for being so useless…”

    MPs enraged by ‘I will reply in writing’ answer
    Bernama News, Wednesday, November 22, 2006

    Kuala Lumpur: Parliamentary Secretary to the Works Ministry Datuk Yong Khoon Seng’s “I will reply in writing” answers when bombarded with queries on issues relating to the Ministry had much of the Members of Parliament present in the Dewan Rakyat enraged.

    The issues included the building of the new Istana Negara complex, compensation to Gerbang Perdana, East-Coast Expressway project and allocation for the repair of a Chinese school in Johor.

    “I don’t have the details here,” said Yong of the issues raised by the MPs during the debate on the Supply Bill. Lau Yeng Peng (BN-Puchong) went on to ask Yong to specifically state when the written replies would be made but others demanded for Yong to give more concrete answers.

    Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur) rose and said: “You are incompetent; useless. Why stand up there when you don’t know the anwers?”

    Yong tried to defend himself but the attacks went on.

    “It’s shameful. I pity the Right Honourable Prime Minister because there is a Parliamentary Secretary like this,” Lim said.

    Deputy Speaker Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob, who chaired the session, called for order and told Yong to continue. Yong then stood up and answered an issue raised by S. K Devamany (BN-Cameron Highlands) by saying: “I don’t have the details here and I will give a written reply.” – Bernama

    Lim Kit Siang in royal rage over new national palace
    Malaysia Kini, Nov 21, 2006

    Works Ministry Parliamentary Secretary Yong Khoon Seng was left speechless as Parliamentary Opposition leader grilled him in the Dewan Rakyat for answers on the new national palace.

    Lim (DAP-Ipoh Timur) quizzed Yong on the recent announcement by Works Minister S Samy Vellu that a new palace costing RM400 million would be built on a hill in Jalan Duta, Kuala Lumpur.

    Samy Vellu said a new palace was needed because the current building in Jalan Istana is not big enough to host official events. Construction will begin next June, with completion expected in 2009.

    Lim raised this issue during the debate and asked Yong for details which the latter could not provide.

    This did not stop the veteran opposition leader from pressing him for a response, remarking that a minister should have been present to answer such important questions.

    “Why was the palace given to Maya Maju Sdn Bhd? Who are they? Are they a crony company? Why wasn’t there an open tender? Why wasn’t there a contract? Why do we need this new palace?” Lim shot out relentlessly.

    “Isn’t this palace a prestige project that falls outside the prime minister’s aim of not spending so much money? Is this another white elephant project?”

    He then exclaimed that this is the first time he was seeing a government representative standing in the House without an answer.

    “Why can’t you answer? Why are you standing there if you can’t answer?” he asked Yong then replied that he had already provided an answer, to which Lim retorted: “Just now you said you can’t answer, now you say you’ve given an answer.”

    Appearing slightly defeated, Yong said: “I will give a written answer.”

    Lim would not let up on the pressure: “How can he stand there and say he will give a written answer? If he’s standing there he should give an answer right now.

    “You are incompetent and you are useless. The prime minister should sack you for being so useless. It is shameful in this House!”

    Yong calmly replied “Luckily, Lim isn’t the prime minister”, drawing snickers from MPs.

    Lim came right back at him: “I pity the prime minister for having such a parliamentary secretary.”

    During the exchange, Deputy Speaker Dr Yusof Yaacob kept trying to restore calm in the House.

    Yong finally sat down after insisting that a written answer would be given to Lim.

    Kit Siang taunts BN backbenchers
    By: Zainon Ahmad (Thu, 23 Nov 2006)

    PARLIAMENT (Nov 23, 2006): It was one of those weeks when as the Dewan Rakyat perfunctorily scrutinised the various ministries’ proposed expenditure under Budget 2007 in a House barely with quorum, the only excitement on hand was Lim Kit Siang.

    Questioning every fault of the government, whether real or perceived, the Opposition Leader and MP for Ipoh Timor poked and jibed and plainly insulted Barisan Nasional backbenchers for shying away from their job of vetting the bills.

    On Tuesday afternoon, he put discomfited Works Ministry parliamentary secretary Datuk Yong Khoon Seng in a spot over the new Istana Negara, estimated to cost between RM400 million and RM500 million, that is going to be built in Jalan Duta.

    He bamboozled the frontbencher with such questions: Why the need for it, why no open tender, who is behind the contractor Maju Jaya. When Yong said he would give him a written answer, Kit Siang told him to be transparent and demanded the answer there and then.

    Deputy Speaker Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob saved the day for Yong by asking the House to quickly approve the ministry’s estimates.

    It was duly done amidst Kit Siang’s protests that it could not be pushed through like that. “This is not Malaysia Boleh, this is Malaysia Bodoh,” he shouted.

    Enraged BN backbenchers stood up and waved their arms belligerently at him while shouting at the oppositionist to sit down. He did but not before giving his tormentors the famous Kit Siang grin.

    It is a grin quite unlike any other. Often he will throw his head slightly back – his pomaded hair in place, his eyes reduced to mere slits, his lips stretched back to expose excellent white teeth. Whether there is mirth and warmth in it and if it is friendly, leery or benign depends on who he beams it at.

    The BN backbenchers see it as a mask he wears whenever he wants to insult, mock, taunt and belittle them without uttering a single unparliamentary word. They have no answer to it except to feel like a boxer with gloves on trying to scratch his groin.

    All the quintessential oppositionist needs to do to keep the government backbenchers, the handful of frontbenchers and the government servants who crowd the space behind them from nodding away is just to be present.

    Ever alert to every opportunity he can exploit to embarrass the government and insult its representatives, he saw his opportunity on Monday when Datuk Badruddin Amiruldin (BN-Jerai) talked about Mara helping poor bumiputras acquire proper pilot training.

    Kit Siang asked whether Badruddin was sure of what he was saying because during the recent Umno general assembly he, as the party deputy permanent chairman, made the mistake of pointing out that the International Herald Tribune was British when it was American.

    Badruddin refused to take the bait and said he was not going to fight with anybody as he was fasting. His tormentor, however, persisted and after Badruddin was called the “laughing stock of the world”, he lost his cool and forgot he was fasting.

    Badruddin shouted the unparliamentary epithet “kurang ajar” (impudent) several times at Kit Siang and told him to stay away from Umno’s affairs. “It’s our affairs. Keluarga kami, rumahtangga kami dan bangsa kami (Our family, our house and our race),” he said.

    Badruddin might as well have joined King Canute the Great in commanding the waves not to rush back to the shore.

    On Nov 22, 2006, Kit Siang attacked Umno Youth leader Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein for brandishing the keris and Umno members for making “incendiary and seditious speeches” at the recent Umno general assembly, and wanted the House to debate them.

    There was no way Tan Sri Ramli Ngah Talib would allow it but the artful oppositionist accepted the decision without demur. As far as he was concerned, the little speech he made had entered the Hansard and no one could say that he did not raise the matter in Parliament.

    Yesterday, Datuk Mohd Alwi Che Ahmad (BN-Ketereh), during question time, defended the use of the keris at the Umno general assembly saying that in Malay culture it was a symbol of power and justice, and not of violence.

    Opposition members and government backbenchers were quite peeved that most of the replies to their questions on the various ministries’ estimates were answered by deputy ministers and parliamentary secretaries.

    On Nov 22, 2006, Kit Siang asked: “Where is the Works Minister?” On Wednesday he asked: “Where is the Transport Minister?” The backbenchers were noticeably just as irritated and were with him only for so long as he did not fault the government.

    But they themselves were not beyond reproach. On Thursday, they failed to scrutinise the International Trade and Industry Ministry’s estimate and it was passed without debate simply because they were not there or those interested were not in the House.

    Comment by Teddy Gumbang — August 7, 2012 @ 12:05 PM | Reply


    These politicians fear and don’t want to be challenged by questioning young minds…. They want to monopolise power…

    Comment by OLDBOY — August 7, 2012 @ 10:33 AM | Reply

  7. Why ask them to stay away from Politics ? These are the future leaders of tomorrow and they have the RIGHTS to be able to play and chart the way for a more and better Sarawak. Unless you people from BN have too many shits to high and are very very worried that these educated minds can see the mess and lack of good governance from being under BN rules.

    Comment by gagojackman — August 7, 2012 @ 9:46 AM | Reply

  8. Maybe happy with the government but definitely NOT happy with SUPP

    Comment by tigeryk — August 7, 2012 @ 4:20 AM | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: