Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Chemistry, politics and sports

LAU Weng San, 30, the state assemblyman for Kampung Tunku, Petaling Jaya is a strong Liverpool fan who has managed to mix politics and sports to his life. Born in Ipoh, Lau, 30, is a chemical engineering graduate of University Malaya.

Q: What drove you into politics?
A: When I enrolled as at Univer siti Malaya, I was away from my family in Ipoh and was on my own. That gave me more freedom.

During my varsity years, my friends and I were exposed to the way elections took place. I was also a student leader and had a taste of politics.

As students, we needed to go through many channels of bureaucracy before a simple project could be carried out.

My fellow uni-mates were facing difficulties with the Perbadanan Tabung Pendidikan Tinggi Nasional (PTPTN). Most students rely on loans from PTPTN to manage their student lives.

It was an eye opener to me as I witnessed the layers of bureaucracy which slowed down decisions making and the victims are always in the dark.

Almost two years after my graduation, I joined DAP in 2004. I was Lim Guan Eng's political secretary from June 2005 to February 2008.

At that time, I was also a columnist for Sin Chew Jit Poh and Nan Yang Siang Pau. Because of time constraint, I have now stopped writing.

Q: Who's your mentor?
A: My mentor is certainly Lim Guan Eng, and he's still my mentor. I must admit I learned various aspects of politics from him and his father, Lim Kit Siang.

I also learned from Hew Kuan Yau, the political secretary of Kit Siang.

He's a PhD holder in political science and knowledgeable too. He's a socialist, and his ideologies are similar to the ones practiced in the Labour Party in UK.

Q: Do you have a girlfriend?
A:Yes I do, and I am planning to marry her in a year or two. We are both DAP party members. We met for the first time during an event organised by the Seputeh DAP.

Q: What is the most high-tech gadget you own?
A: I have an IBM laptop. It's not the latest but it serves its purpose. And I have a simple handset and a digital camera with video function.

Q: Where do you hang out?
A: Bookstores are my favourite joints. I love books and I could easily spend RM1,000 a year on reading materials. But at times I can't finish reading them. Currently, I am reading The World Is Flat by Thomas Friedman.

Q: Are you active in sports?
A: Yes, I love football and I'ma strong Liverpool supporter.

Q: Any favourite restaurant?
A: Any hawker centre is okay with me and my favourite food is nasi campur.

Q: How long do you want to serve as a politician?
A: I think I am more suited as a politician than an engineer and I want to be able to serve the community for as long as I can.

Q: What was the first thing that came into your mind when you knew you have been elected?
A: The first thing which struck me was the huge responsibility I will have to shoulder. My mind wasn't screaming in joy but was thinking of all the measures needed to help the rakyat. They have put their trust in me, and I am answerable to them.

Q: Do you blog?
A:Yes I do. You can visit my blog at www.lauwengsan. com For Lau Weng San, a digital camera comes in handy in his role as a state assemblyman.

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