Sabah Minister, Siringan Gubat Dies After Facing Breathing Difficulties


KOTA KINABALU: Siringan Gubat, the Sabah minister for Resource Development and Information Technology died at the Gleneagles Hospital here late Tuesday night.

The Paginatan Assemblyman is believed to have suffered a heart attack after experiencing breathing difficulties at his home.

He was 69. Siringan leaves behind Rozalind Wong, his wife, and their five children.

He is also the second Barisan Nasional Assemblyman and Sabah Minister to pass away within a week.

On March 14, Apas Assemblyman, Tawfiq Abu Bakar, who is also Minister of Youth and Sport, died while at a private hospital in Kuala Lumpur.

Family members informed BorneoToday that Siringan experienced breathing difficulties while at home at about 9pm. He was then rushed to the Gleneagles Hospital but died some two hours later.

A doctor who attended to him is understood to have told family members that Siringan experienced a heart attack that turned out to be fatal.

The late Siringan, right, at a January event in Ranau where UPKO hosted a Christmas cum New Year gathering.

In February last year, Siringan who is also a deputy president of United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (UPKO), was admitted to the hospital for a heart attack.

The soft-spoken Siringan, was then in Ranau town and had just finished a function when he complained of chest pains and his driver immediately sent him to the district hospital.

Siringan, who also goes by the name Aliance, was born at Lokos, Tuaran on 28 November, 1949. He was a teacher before he entered politics in 1985, and served as Political Secretary to Mark Koding, the then deputy Chief Minister in the PBS government.

However, when Koding was sacked from PBS and went on to form AKAR in late 1989 and a by-election for Ranau was called. Siringan was the PBS candidate and he went on to beat his one-time boss.

In the 1990 State elections, Siringan again beat Koding for the Ranau seat which he then held for three terms.

However, he was among several lawmakers who left PBS soon after the 1994 elections to team up with Bernard Dompok under Parti Demokratik Sabah before its change of name to UPKO.

He did not contest the 2004 elections as he was replaced by Ewon Ebin.

Siringan returned to active politics in the 2008 general elections, but contested and won the Ranau parliament seat.

In 2013, he switched seats with Ewon. Ewon contested Ranau while Siringan went back to Paginatan which he won. He was then made a full Minister in the Sabah cabinet.

Siringan’s death was confirmed by a senior UPKO official.