Teng Gets Close To Electorate To Help BN Regain Sarikei

By Ibrahim Mahsen

SARIKEI, Jan 13 (Bernama) -- Staying up late into the night to approach the people and finding out their problems and grouses has become a daily routine for Sarawak Chief Minister's political secretary for the Sarikei parliamentary constituency, Teng Ung Woo.

The 44-year-old Sarikei native who holds a Bachelors of Commerce degree from the University of Otago in New Zealand, said he was now used to such a routine to carry out the responsibilities he had undertaken when he joined Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP) almost 20 years ago.

For instance, he said, all the programmes held in the past three years had been meticulously organised to ensure that no area or people were left out or overlooked.

"Sometimes I feel that I talk and meet the people more than my own family. I feel close to the people," Teng, who is also the Sarikei SUPP vice chairman told Bernama here.

Following his frequent visits, Teng is now well acquainted with the Sarikei parliamentary constituency, which comprised 300 Iban longhouses, 10 Malay villages, two Chinese village zones and settlements, and knew many of the people there.

There are 40,000 voters there, of which about 70 per cent are from the Chinese community.

Besides going down on the ground, every Tuesday he would be at the Sarikei SUPP office while on Wednesdays he would go to the SUPP office in Meradong, Bintangor to meet the people there.

The former banker said the people welcomed him and approached him to voice out their grouses, even though they realised he was not an elected people's representative.

He said reports on all the problems faced by the people during the programmes held would then be submitted to the Chief Minister's Office, relevant authorities and party leadership for further action.

"Sometimes I bring the matter to the relevant local government departments and agencies directly, to find an immediate solution so that the problem is addressed as soon as possible," he said.

"We avoid making unreasonable promises as it could affect the people's trust and confidence. This is important so that we have a better platform to fight for the people," said Teng, who has also served as a member of the Sarikei District Council for five years.

Asked if he was ready to become Barisan Nasional's (BN) candidate in the 14th General Election (GE14), Teng said he left the decision to the party leadership.

"If the grassroots unanimously support and want me to be their representative (at parliamentary level), I'm ready to serve them," he said, urging the voters in Sarikei to give their support to the BN candidate who would be fielded there in GE14

In the last parliamentary election in 2013, SUPP-BN candidate Datuk Ding Kuong Hiing who garnered 13,758 votes, was defeated by Wong Ling Biu of DAP who obtained 14,263 votes.

Teng said the people of Sarikei had now experienced what it felt like being represented by opposition representatives at the parliamentary and state levels.

"Most of them complained that it was difficult to see the opposition party representatives coming to visit them. This is the response and feedback received from the people in the longhouses I visited," he added, reminding the voters not to be easily deceived by the opposition or repeat the mistake made in the last election.