Our Mayor Rests

Condolences to the family of the late Mayor Chong Ted Tsiung

He was a friend and a colleague. I was quiet for a moment when I recieved news that Mayor Chong Ted Tsiung, 51, passed away this Friday morning at the Kuching Specialist Centre. Wordless..... He was sworn in as the first non political mayor for Kuching City South Council (Press Release) on 25 September 2006. The late Mayor Chong was previously the Controller of the Sarawak Natural Resources and Environment Board.

The body of the late mayor Chong at his Stampin home Kuching

Mayor Chong passed away at 4.15 a.m of 3rd August 2007. The body of the late Mayor was brought to his residence in Stampin at 6 a.m in the morning with the assistance of the Council.

The Mayor's Car parks outside his residence

The late Mayor's car "1888" number is significant as it was the time when Kuching was declared a City (1st August 1988).

Paying their last respect - YB Dublin Unting & Datu Jaul Samion with the Deputy Mayor of Kuching South Council

Various VIPs dropped by to pay their last respect - and Nadai Name will observe a moment of silence and will be back later.

Added on 4th Aug 2007:

A few words about the late Mayor Chong as I know him:

From left: This 2003 picture shows Sarawak's former Department of Environment Director, Encik Abdul Rahman, with Chong in the middle when he was the Controller of Natural Resources & Environment Board (NREB) and Tuan Haji Bujang Mohidin Haji Jol, the Resident of Sibu (formerly the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment & Public Health) during the Environment Week Celebration in Sibu.

We were the environmental caretakers at one time (that was when I was the Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Environment from 1994 and subsequently as an Assistant Director in the State Planning Unit (Environment Unit) in 2002 for a while. The late Chong is a known workaholic - dedicated in what he does especially in the field of environmental conservation and management. I got to know him as early as 1995/6 when he was tinkering with environmental related matters especially when the Natural Resource & Environment Ordinance was passed and the NRE Board was being formed. We attended a lot of meetings together and he slowly rose from the post of Deputy Controller to Controller. When he became Mayor of the Kuching City South Council last year, he brought over that spirit of environmental management in his Council meetings. With a view to improve Kuching folks lives his first message as Mayor on 30th September 2006 was to strive for "good governance, transparency, public accountability and efficient service delivery".

Launching of Environment Week 2003 at Sibu officiated by the Minister for Environment YB Datuk William Mawan - accompanied by the Assistant Minister for Public Health YB Datuk Dr. Soon.

That's the saddest part - everytime we meet it seems to be all about work even during non offical functions. Which is why I have to salute him for his persistence to achieve what he has set out to do and sticking to it till the end. We had our light moments especially during the tenure of the former Minister of Environment YB Datuk Amar James Wong Kim Min last time. I was new in the service, and he was new in NREB - both of us seemed caught off guard on one of our plans to form the "Pencinta Alam Sekitar" (known as PALS). It was still on paper and no concrete action plans had been prepared yet (basically it was an idea and we needed the Minister to provide funds to kick start it) - and we looked at one another (in front of all the Council Secretaries) - 'Yikes!'. I will always remember that smile when he walked to the rostrum to explain the concept - environmental education was quite new in terms of implementation. Everyone seems to be talking about it but not much implementation was done except for cleanliness campaigns and programs.

But his years of experience made up for that and he managed to push through the idea. We did not introduce its raw acronym of Pencinta Alam Sekitar (PAS) as it would be politically sensitive and I proposed we changed that to PALS - meaning to be friends with the environment. PALS now is established in almost 200 over schools in the State - teaching and exposing the idea of the love for the environment to the teachers and students. That is a symbol of dedication at its best on Chong's part - and his team of NREB Officers. Mayor Chong - my comrade in arms, you may now rest my friend.

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Missy Macy said…
Just found out I'm his wife's colleague now in my new school ~ what a small world.