Malaysia

Sibu campaign enters final stretch

SIBU, May 14 — “I’m very honoured and feel excited. I am ready to work and want to work now”.

That is what Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Robert Lau Hui Yew or popularly known as “Robert Lau Junior” said as he began his final 48-hour push of campaigning to woo voters in Sibu, who have a history of shifting allegiances and large number of whom are fence sitters.

First on his agenda in this final leg of campaigning is problems faced people living in Rejang Park, a satellite town of Sibu.

Voters here make up one third of the 54,695 voters in Sunday’s by-election in this parliamentary constituency.

“I know Rejang Park, it can be upgraded. There are some local issues such as drainage and septic tanks. Infrastructure is not coping with the growing population. If people there give the vote to us, then we be able to do it (resolve the problems),” he told reporters here today.

Lau’s first taste of politics began when he was brought in by his late cousin, Datuk Robert Lau Hoi Chew, to serve at the Sibu Municipal Council just before Hoi Chew was appointed Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing.

Robert Lau Junior went about his business as the head in the council’s Public Health Standing Committee with his first task being forming the Sibu Toilet Council on Sept 12, 2005, to lead the townsfolk in washroom hygiene.

This task opened a new page for him as he told Bernama that he was inspired to bring “five-star toilets for Sibu” following his sons complaining about stinking toilets in schools.

“The first step was to build numerous modern public toilets in places such as Sibu Town Square Phase II, the SEDC Food Hawker Centre, SMC Central Market and Lake Garden. A model toilet also was built at SRK Bandaran Sibu No. 4 with the help of a federal government grant,” he said.

In fact, his “toilet” effort won accolades to the extent that the Sibu Municipal Council and Sibu Toilet Council won a Bronze Award in the National Quality Toilet Competition 2008.

It made him so popular in Sibu that his friends jokingly branded him “the toilet chairman of Sibu”.

Lau, who is also SUPP Sibu treasurer and the chairman of Sibu SUPP’s Town Service Centre, is also working on another project on improving traffic flow in Sibu, which was started by his cousin in 2000 and only needs some fine tuning now.

And today, Lau unveiled his manifesto on what he wanted to do for Sibu.

In it, he has prioritised getting more investment, job creation, skills training for single parents to increase their income, more CCTVs in town to improve security and reduce street crimes rates as well as to transform Sibu into a “wireless” township.

DAP candidate Richard Wong Ho Leng when met by Bernama was also equally excited as he made his final push to meet voters.

“The only change is that my weight has dropped by three kilogrammes. In terms of response, the feedback is very positive as many are eager to see changes,” he said.

However, missing from the campaign trail is independent candidate — Narawi Haron, who has not been seen anywhere or conducting house-to- visits. — Bernama

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