Cha: ‘It helps to live in the samearea as I see firsthand the issuesthat affect the constituents daily.’
Full name: Cha Kee Chin (DAP)Age: 34Marital status: Single but in arelationshipEducation: Bachelor ofJurisprudence, Universiti Malaya;Bachelor of Science (majoring inMaterials), Universiti KebangsaaanMalaysia; Certificate of LegalPractice (CLP)Profession: LawyerADUN of: Bukit Kepayang (under theRasah parliamentary seat)Contact: 012-666 4557 or06-761 4557 (service centre)Service centre: 93, 2nd Floor, JalanDato’ Bandar Tunggal, Seremban. Itsoperating hours are 9am to 5pm(Monday to Friday), and 9am tonoon (Saturday).
IT MAY sound odd, but Bukit Kepayang assemblyman Cha Kee Chin from the DAP is comfortable calling state MCA legal bureau chairman Tan Foong Luen “boss”.
It is not that he subscribes to Tan’s political beliefs but first-term assemblyman Cha works in Tan’s law firm and the two actually get along very nicely.
“I am willing to co-operate with anyone regardless of their political affiliations so long as we can serve the people and work together for a Malaysian Malaysia,” Cha said when met at his work place.
Cha, who is Negri Sembilan DAP publicity and legal bureau secretary, was introduced to the the party at a very young age, as Dr Chen Man Hin, one of the party’s founding members, was his family doctor.
Born in Seremban but raised in Salak and Nilai, the older of two children, fondly recalls travelling all the way to Seremban to Dr Chen's clinic if any member of his family fell ill.
It was Dr Chen’s dedication in serving people and personal experiences of injustice that motivated Cha to enter politics.
“I lost my father when I was nine. It was tough for us when we were growing up as my mum had to run our grocery shop alone.
“The biggest problem I faced was securing a loan or a scholarship to further my studies,” Cha said, adding that he finally got a loan from the NS Foundation in his third year at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.
After having worked as an engineer with several companies for seven years, Cha then went on to pursue his first love – to read law.
Cha, who claims to be the first to achieve honours with distinction in Universiti Malaya’s Bachelor of Jurisprudence external programme, identifies with the problems in his constituency as he lives there.
“It helps to live in the same area as I see firsthand the issues that affect the constituents daily,” said Cha, who lives with his mother.
StarMetro: How much time do you spend on the computer?
Cha: Not much. I have to be “pushed” by my girlfriend to be more computer-savvy.
StarMetro: Do you blog or have a website?
Cha: I have a blog but not a website. Currently, my blog – dapcha.blogspot.com – is in Chinese.
StarMetro: Are you into movies? Any favourite actor or actress?
Cha: I don't really have time for TV or movies. If I have to choose, my favourite actors would be Jackie Chan, for his international appeal, and Tan Sri P. Ramlee, a true star of Malaysian cinema.
StarMetro: What do you read?
Cha: Books on law and legal matters. Sometimes, I even squeeze in some reading while waiting for clients or acquaintances.
StarMetro: Are you into English Premier League (EPL) football? Which is your favourite team and who is your favourite player?
Cha: Yes, I am a fan of both EPL and the Serie A (Italian football league). My favourite teams are Arsenal and AC Milan, and my favourite players are Cesc Fabregas and Paolo Maldini.
StarMetro: What’s your favourite sport?
Cha: During my schooldays, I used to play basketball, badminton, volleyball and sepak takraw. These days I hardly have time for sports and just jog around my area whenever I can.
StarMetro: What languages can you speak?
Cha: Malay, English, Mandarin; I also speak Chinese dialects – Cantonese, Hakka and a smattering of Hokkien.
StarMetro: What is the gadget you can't live without?
Cha: My mobile phone. I wouldn't feel comfortable without it.
StarMetro: What’s your favourite food?
Cha: I can’t take spicy food, but who can resist sambal petai? My favourite breakfast, though, is roti canai and I try to have it whenever I can.
StarMetro: What car do you drive and how long have you had it?
Cha: I’ve had my Proton Wira for five years now.
StarMetro: Name an idol whom you look up to.
Cha: I have two idols and both are DAP stalwarts. I am inspired by the principles of party founder Dr Chen Man Hin and admire Lim Guan Eng for his struggle to make Malaysia a better place.
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