Tiong an outspoken politician

Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing

KUCHING: Prior to 1999, Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing was better known as a corporate figure, but it changed when he was announced as the Barisan Nasional candidate for the Bintulu parliamentary seat the same year, which also marked the beginning of his move into politics.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced Tiong’s appointment as Minister of Tourism and one of the 28 cabinet ministers who took the oath of office at Istana Negara today.

According to Bernama, starting as Sarawak National Party (SNAP) treasurer-general under the leadership of the then president, Datuk Amar James Wong Kim Min (now deceased), Tiong, 61, is now known as an outspoken politician and has been embroiled in controversy several times.

He won the Bintulu parliamentary seat in the 10th General Election (GE10) in his first bid at becoming an elected representative by defeating the incumbent, Chiew Chin Sing (DAP), with a majority of 1,400 votes.

In the same year, he was sacked from SNAP together with several other party leaders for indiscipline.

Despite the controversy of being sacked from SNAP, Tiong became more popular and in GE11 in 2004, Tiong, of the Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP), defended the Bintulu seat when contesting on BN’s ticket.

He won with a five-digit majority votes, of 10,658 votes, against Chiew.

Tiong continued to strengthen his position as the Bintulu Member of Parliament by winning the next four elections and in the last GE15, he obtained 43,455 votes beating two other candidates with a majority of 22,168 votes.

Tiong, who has been PDP president since 2016, is also the Dudong State Assemblyman, winning the seat in the 12th state election held last December.