Sunday, June 29

Larry Sng’s fate is hanging on the balance

Come 5 July 2008, the fate of Larry Sng in PRS will be decided once and for all when James Masing’s supreme council meet in Miri. During the meeting, the supreme council will receive reports from all its divisions and grassroots leaders make a decision regarding the membership of the assistant minister.

According to inside sources, Larry Sng’s membership is a foregone conclusion. “The supreme council is merely to endorse the decision. As a matter of fact, a letter has been drafted and will be sent to the Chief Minister informing him that Larry is no longer a member of PRS and his post as assistant minister should be replaced by one of PRS’ State Assemblyman,” said the sources.

Masing is therefore kicking the ball to Taib’s court with the sending of the letter. Naturally, all eyes will be on Taib whether he wants to keep Larry Sng or replaces him. Taib’s sincerity is being tested.

According to the volume two of The Broken Shield which is due to be published soon, “it was Masing who strongly recommended that young Larry to be appointed as an assistant minister. Even the Chief Minister was reported to be reluctant to appoint Larry as member of his cabinet as the ‘boy was just born yesterday’. But if Masing insisted that Larry be appointed, then Taib asked Masing to put his recommendation in writing. By asking Masing to put it in writing, Taib was actually protecting his own name. He did not want to be accused later on of giving preference to Larry.

“Masing did as advised and even showed the contents of the letter to a reporter. Masing said that Larry was recommended in recognition of his father’s contributions to the party and the Dayak community.”

Now Larry is going to be “partyless” and a “free” man and will make his move when the time comes. But whatever move he will make, his political life will never be the same again. Many see that his political life is coming to a hasty end. His greatest blunder is to challenge Masing for the leadership of PRS knowing very well it is a Dayak-based party. For sure, he will never be accepted to be the “tuai rumah” in PRS “longhouse”. Now being partyless, his seat of Pelagus where the Dayaks form more than 90% of the electorate will be taken away by Masing’s man in the next election. Unless, of course, he is prepared to contest as an independent candidate. Certainly not as a BN man. His family might be rich and his father-in-law may be a millionaire. Money alone, however, may not be enough to win votes in this constituency. There are factors that a non-Dayak candidate may have to counter.

Larry Sng is the third generation politician of his family. Sng Chin Joo, Larry’s grandfather was a councilor of Kapit District Council as well as a nominated MP for Kapit after the formation of Malaysia. Following Chin Joo’s footsteps was his son, Sng Chee Hua (Larry’s father). Sng Chee Hua used a PBDS platform to contest the Pelagus seat and served for two terms, i.e. from 1993 to 2001. He was replaced by Larry from 2001 onwards.

Could the expulsion from PRS signify the end of the Sng family’s political dominance and business influence in Kapit? ………more to come from The Broken Shield.

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