Has Labuan No Qualified Person To Lead Port Authority, Queries DAP

KOTA KINABALU: DAP Sabah has rubbished the appointment of MCA member of parliament Datuk Seri Wee Jeck Seng as the new chairman of Labuan Port Authority (LPA).

DAP chairman Stephen Wong said it was absurd and inappropriate to appoint a non-local to chair LPA and that it had violated the spirit of Borneonization.

Wee Jeck Seng

In a statement Friday, Wong said the appointment raised questions and criticism as to whether there were no local talents or professionals to hold the key post.

‘Why must they (Ministry of Transport) appoint him despite there being many (Labuanites) who are far more qualified than him (Wee),” questioned Wong, who added that Wee is totally unfit to occupy the post as he has no related skill and knowledge on port affairs.

“Furthermore he is not a local (neither Labuan or Sabah-born) who would be better to understand the local environment as well.”

According to the Sandakan lawmaker, he had been informed that that the appointment of Wee was based on the MCA quota and Wee’s appointment came from MCA president, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai who is also Transport Minister.

Labuan Port

Liow handed over the appointment letter to Wee, the Tanjung Piai (Johor) MP in Kuala Lumpur on March 16. Wee, 53, will serve for two years.

While Member of Parliament Datuk Rozman Isli welcomed the appointment, it did not go down well with the Labuan Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LICCI).

Rozman said he is confident that Wee will be able to handle the challenges faced by Labuan Liberty Port.

“Immediately after he was appointed, we met and he assured that he would complement my efforts in making the Labuan port attractive for ships to call. As such, all should view his appointment positively,” said Rozman.

However LICCI chairman Datuk Dahlif Singh said the appointment was puzzling as Labuan BN component parties seldom had a chance to serve in government-linked entities.

He said such opportunities are limited and as such, when chances occur, priority should be given to Labuan-based leaders.

“If a person with vast experience in port management from outside the island, it may still be acceptable but the new chairman is not known to be from a marine.”