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Officially announce to the media my official entry into the Democratic Action Party and my appointment as the Economic Advisor to the DAP Secretary-General, Sdr Lim Guan Eng
(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday) : Prior to this, I was the Chief Executive Officer of a Malaysian e-business consulting firm listed on the Singapore Exchange. It was a company which I founded exactly 10 years ago in March 1997, just 3 months before the Thai baht crashed. It was a extremely difficult period, but we survived the Asian financial crisis and managed to successfully list the company in August 2001. At 29, I was then the youngest person to have listed a company in Singapore. It was certainly no bed of roses post-listing either, with the company needing to ride the dot-com bust, the Asian SARS crisis as well as several difficult acquisitions. Hopefully, after 2006, I have left the company in a much better financial state and the new management team will be able to take the company to greater heights. I have disposed of all my interests in the company to new investors.
Before setting up the company, I spent nearly two years with a leading multinational IT consulting company based in Kuala Lumpur, right after I graduated from University.
I received my education at Keble College, Oxford University where I read Philosophy, Politics and Economics, courtesy of a full scholarship from MTC Foundation. Prior to that I completed my 'A' Levels at Raffles Junior College and 'O' Levels at Raffles Institution under the ASEAN Scholarship in Singapore.
I come from a humble family, where my father was a small-scale poultry farmer in the outskirts of Batu Pahat. I have been extremely blessed all my life to have achieved what I have to date. All these however, could only have been achieved with a lot of generous assistance from and opportunities provided by others. They include my family and relatives, friends, teachers, colleagues, employers, investors, former employees and even strangers.
While I could always focus on making more money, there comes a time when one has to say “enough”. It is hence necessary that I return the favour to the society and country which I am born into. Politics, helping the country shape better policies to benefit all Malaysians, is just one of the ways in which I could contribute.
When joining a political party, one has to decide the key reason for his or her participation. I am not joining a political party to get more wealthy or to further my business interests, which I no longer possess any.
I am interested in joining a party which has the interest of the rakyat at heart, which has the moral courage to speak up to right the wrongs of the country's often misguided policies. I have no intention of joining parties in which I will instead be reprimanded or punished for voicing out the rakyat's interests and concerns.
In addition, I certainly have the utmost respect for the senior leaders of the DAP for having sacrificed so much of their lives, at great personal costs, for the benefit of Malaysians of all races. I for one, have definitely benefited from the courage demonstrated by these leaders.
Under their leadership, the DAP has come to mean four key principles to me – Democracy, Integrity, Social Justice and Equality of Opportunities.
They have given me hope that it is very much possible, despite increased cynicism and pessimism at large, to build a better Malaysia. And hence, it was an easy decision for me to sign up with DAP, to play my part in carrying the torch which the past leaders lit, to bring hope to the next generation of Malaysians.
As the economic advisor to the Secretary-General, it will be my responsibility to extend my assistance to the party in analysing the Malaysian economy in a global context, as well as formulating financial and economic policies. In addition, I've also been designated as the new executive editor for the English edition of the party organ, The Rocket.
I will also be assisting the Selangor State Committee set up a new DAP Community and Service Centre serving the residents of Greater Petaling Jaya. This new centre will be launch on the 18th March, managed by the DAP Damansara branch, of which I'm the pro-tem committee chairman. The centre will be located at Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya.
In addition, I will be personally forming a not-for-profit education counselling centre as well as a tuition centre based in the same building.
For the former, we intend to act as a source of information for higher education for Malaysian students seeking to pursue their education at the top universities overseas. We will be conducting regular briefing and seminar sessions on the various universities, entry requirements and mechanisms conducted by current and former students of these institutions. To date, I have received overwhelming support from more than 60 students and alumni of universities ranging from Cambridge, London School of Economics, Imperial College, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Cornell, Melbourne and many others, who have expressed an interest in helping other Malaysian students.
As for the tuition centre, it is targeted at secondary school students in the vicinity of Petaling Jaya. Students from families of poorer households, with monthly income below RM2,000 will receive free or subsidised tuition fees.
It is hence my hope that my entry full-time into the Malaysian political scene will be a boon for Malaysians in general. I will certainly perform my very best within my limited means to help shape a better Malaysia, a Malaysia where Malaysians come first.
Tony Pua ,
Economic Advisor to DAP
, Economic Advisor to DAP Secretary-General