Malaysian-born duo making headway in Aussie politics


Rising in the ranks: Wong is slated to take office as the Foreign Affairs Minister while Lim has won the MP’s seat of Tangney.

PETALING JAYA: Two Malaysian-born people have made headway in the Australian federal election.

Veteran senior politician Penny Wong, who was born in Kota Kinabalu, is slated to take office today as Foreign Affairs Minister under the Labour government of Anthony Albanese.

The law and arts graduate from the University of Adelaide moved to Australia as an eight-year-old in 1976.

She was elected senator in 2001.

In 2013, she became Leader of the Government in the Senate.

After the change of government, she was appointed the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate. She is the first woman to hold these roles.

As for Sam Lim, the Johor-born won the MP’s seat of Tangney in western Australia.

His victory over Ben Morton, an adviser to outgoing prime minister Scott Morison, was a surprise, according to media reports.

The West Australian news site reported that Lim and his group of family and friends were gathered at Mount Pleasant Bowling Club when the results were announced, but he almost missed it.

“I had a runny nose and was blowing my nose in the bathroom. When I came out someone hugged me and tried to throw me in the air and I was thinking to myself, ‘What is happening’,” he was quoted as saying.

Lim, 60, was once with the Malaysian police force.

“I served for two years as a police constable before leaving to become a dolphin trainer,” he said on his website.

In 2002, he migrated to Australia with his wife and three children.

He joined the Western Australia Police Academy in 2006.

Two years ago, he was awarded “police officer of the year” for his work with multicultural communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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