Dr Sim to resign from Health Dept soon

KUCHING: Barisan Nasional’s newly endorsed Pending candidate Professor Dr Sim Kui Hian will hand in his resignation to the state Health Department soon.

He said he would meet with Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) Heart Centre’s 300 or so staff members this week.

As a civil servant, the cardiac unit head is not permitted by law to stand in an election.

Dr Sim’s resignation would also mean he would have to forfeit his other positions including the National Heart Association of Malaysia presidency and perhaps his adjunct professorship at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas).

When contacted yesterday, however, Dr Sim was circumspect.

“I want to speak to them (staff) first before I make further comments. I’ve been with them so long. Since the beginning in fact. Nonetheless, I have to resign. No question about it.”

On his candidacy, Dr Sim said it was an “honour”.

“If it is the wish of the people and Barisan leadership for me to contest, then I will take up the challenge. I grew up in an environment where helping people was always part of daily life.”

Dr Sim, 46, is the son of former Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) treasurer, the late Tan Sri Dr Sim Kheng Hong.

Sim senior was the only deputy chief minister from SUPP who was not party president.

During that time, Kheng Hong was under the leadership of Tan Sri Stephen Yong.

“I like to think that I’ve also been serving the people as a doctor since returning from Australia 13 years ago,” Dr Sim told Star Sarawak yesterday. “Now, starting a political career, it will just be a different way of helping people.”

Dr Sim will contest in a hot seat, which is presently dominated by the Opposition. DAP’s Violet Yong beat SUPP secretary-general Datuk Sim Kheng Hui in the 2006 state election.

Yong received a majority of 4,372 votes over Kheng Hui then. Kheng Hui and Dr Sim are related, and they are always spotted together in public appearances.

Pending constituency has about 30,000 registered voters, with the Chinese being the majority.

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