Political commentator, blogger and former DAP MP for Bandar Kuching Sim Kwang Yang passed away earlier this morning at the age of 66. According to reports, Sim, who had been suffering from ill health, passed away in his sleep.
Sim had served three terms as Bandar Kuching MP from 1982 to 1995.
Offering his condolences in twitter, DAP Parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang said that that Sim was one of the first among young Sarawakians who had rallied for the party when Sarawak DAP was formed in 1978.
“Sim left footprints in Swak/Msian politics. His heart always with underdog regardless of origin. Pioneer in DAP reach-out to longhouses. RIP,” said Lim in another tweet.
Current Bandar MP Chong Chieng Jan also said a few words about his predecessor:
“Sim was among the pillars of DAP in the darkest history of DAP in the 80s. Without a doubt, he has contributed a lot to the development of the party. He was the pillar of support to all party members in Sarawak.”
Sim had contested for the Padungan State seat in 1979, which he lost. During that time, he was offered a scholarship to study philosophy in Canada. Choosing to stay on in Sarawak, Sim said that he sacrificed his future in Canada to build a career in politics in his beloved homeland, Kuching.
He remained active in politics until his third term as Bandar Kuching MP expired in 1995, choosing to retire from active politics as he suffered from diabetes. After leaving the scene, he continued to blog and write about Malaysian politics on websites such as Malaysiakini and The Nut Graph.
Sim also founded Hornbill Unleashed, a Sarawak-centric blog site that he faithfully contributed to.
In one of his articles, he referred to Sarawak as the most harmonious state in the country due to its apparent diversity and various spoken languages.
“In Sarawak there are no strangers; there are only friends who have not yet met. That is the greatest story in this, the Land of Many Tongues, being played out among our people of one heart.”
In an interview with Malaysiakini in 2006, he was asked whether he is afraid of death. This was his reply:
“I am not really afraid of death. It is easy for me to say so, because I am not nearing death yet. Perhaps, when I lie on my death bed and on the brink of confronting the Great beyond and gasping for breath, I will be scared shitless, and ask to be converted to one of those religions that promise eternal life. And then perhaps not. I will wait and see. ”
He will be cremated tomorrow afternoon, on 28 November 2014 at the Nirvana Memorial Park in Semenyih , Selangor. -The Rocket