Answering call of duty after 13-year hiatus – Chong Kah Kiat


FORMER Sabah chief minister Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat (picture), who retired from politics 13 years ago, could have chosen to spend his golden years blissfully, in the company of his children and grandchildren.

But the 72-year-old said he sensed a call of duty on seeing the younger generation losing their bearing in life, especially young politicians. That strengthened his resolve to make a comeback in politics.

“I am worried that if I don’t return to give them (youth) guidance, they might go on the wrong path.

“That is why as veterans we need to shoulder the responsibility to be together with them to inculcate sincerity and honesty to prevent them from straying,” he told Bernama in an interview.

Chong, who is honorary life president of Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), said the political situation in Sabah is also another factor that prompted him to return to active politics.

In his view, some leaders talk politics more than they work and this is unhealthy.

“We have become obsessed, talking politics day and night but not doing enough work,” he added.

Therefore, LDP wants to drive home the message to Sabahans especially young leaders that they should walk the talk.

Chong is contesting in the Inanam seat in a 10-cornered fight in the Sept 26 state election.

Recalling the setting up of LDP in 1989, Chong, who once held the post of president, said he was the one who chose the orange colour for the party flag.

He said orange signifies calmness, peace and courtesy while the torch is meant to uplift spirits.

Chong said the Chinese-based LDP is now attracting more members of other races including Bumiputeras.

He said LDP has chosen not to cooperate with any party to give it greater freedom to operate and set its own direction.

Commenting on the multi-cornered fights in every seat this time around, Chong said it was a sign that democracy is very much alive in the country.

He feels that every individual should be given the opportunity to contest to offer voters wider choices to pick the best.

LDP is fielding 46 candidates comprising 12 Chinese, 13 Muslim Bumiputeras and 21 Kadazandusun Murut.