Wee Ka Siong

Datuk Seri Ir. Dr. Wee Ka Siong (Chinese: 魏家祥; pinyin: Wèi Jiāxiáng; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Gūi Ka-siông; born 20 October 1968) is a Malaysian politician, and engineer who served as Minister of Transport for the second term in the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration under Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob from August 2021 to the collapse of the BN administration in November 2022 and his first term in the Perikatan Nasional (PN) administration under former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin from March 2020 to the collapse of the PN administration in August 2021, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department and the Deputy Minister of Education in the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration under former Prime Ministers Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Najib Razak as well as former Ministers Hishammuddin Hussein and Muhyiddin from March 2008 to the collapse of the BN administration in May 2018. He has served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ayer Hitam since March 2004.[1]and 11th President of the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), a component party of the ruling BN coalition, since November 2018. He also served as the Deputy President of MCA from December 2013 to his promotion to the party presidency in November 2018 as well as the Youth Chief of MCA from October 2008 to his promotion to the party deputy presidenct in December 2013. He was the sole minister of Chinese ethnicity and MCA in the PN and BN administrations from March 2020 to November 2022 and sole MCA candidate to be elected in the 2018 general election. [2]

Wee Ka Siong
DGSM DMSM FICE MP
魏家祥
Wee in 2021
Minister of Transport
In office
30 August 2021  24 November 2022
MonarchAbdullah
Prime MinisterIsmail Sabri Yaakob
DeputyHenry Sum Agong
Preceded byHimself
Succeeded byAnthony Loke Siew Fook
ConstituencyAyer Hitam
In office
10 March 2020  16 August 2021
MonarchAbdullah
Prime MinisterMuhyiddin Yassin
DeputyHasbi Habibollah
Preceded byAnthony Loke Siew Fook
Succeeded byHimself
ConstituencyAyer Hitam
11th President of the Malaysian Chinese Association
Assumed office
4 November 2018
DeputyMah Hang Soon
Preceded byLiow Tiong Lai
ConstituencyAyer Hitam
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Ayer Hitam
Assumed office
21 March 2004
Preceded byPosition established
Majority15,763 (2004)
13,909 (2008)
7,310 (2013)
303 (2018)
2,963 (2022)
Ministerial offices
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department
In office
27 June 2014  9 May 2018
MonarchsAbdul Halim
Muhammad V
Prime MinisterNajib Razak
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byPosition abolished
ConstituencyAyer Hitam
Deputy Minister of Education
In office
19 March 2008  15 May 2013
Serving with Razali Ismail (2008–2009)
Mohd Puad Zarkashi (2009–2013)
MonarchsMizan Zainal Abidin
Abdul Halim
Prime MinisterAbdullah Ahmad Badawi
Najib Razak
MinisterHishammuddin Hussein (2008–2009)
Muhyiddin Yassin (2009–2013)
Preceded byHon Choon Kim
Succeeded byKamalanathan Panchanathan
ConstituencyAyer Hitam
Party offices
Deputy President of the Malaysian Chinese Association
In office
21 December 2013  3 November 2018
PresidentLiow Tiong Lai
Preceded byLiow Tiong Lai
Succeeded byMah Hang Soon
Youth Chief of the Malaysian Chinese Association
In office
13 October 2008  21 December 2013
PresidentOng Tee Keat
Chua Soi Lek
DeputyMah Hang Soon
Preceded byLiow Tiong Lai
Succeeded byChong Sin Woon
Faction represented in Dewan Rakyat
2004–Barisan Nasional
Personal details
Born (1968-10-20) 20 October 1968
Jasin, Malacca, Malaysia
Political partyMalaysian Chinese Association (MCA)
Other political
affiliations
Barisan Nasional (BN)
Perikatan Nasional (PN)
SpouseJessica Lim Hai Ean
Children2
Alma materUniversity of Technology Malaysia (BEng, PhD)
Nanyang Technological University (MEng)
OccupationPolitician
ProfessionEngineer
Websiteweekasiong.com.my

Early life and education

He was born in Jasin, Melaka to a Hakka clan and later brought up in Tampin, Negeri Sembilan. He attended the SJK(C) Yu Hsien primary school and Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Datuk Bendahara Jasin, Melaka.

He studied Civil Engineering at the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) in 1986–1991. He later pursued his Master in Traffic Engineering at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore from 1993 to 1996 and a PhD in Transportation Planning at the UTM from 1996 to 2001. He is a qualified Civil Engineer and is a member of the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM).

He is married to Datin Seri Jessica Lim Hai Ean (林海燕), a lawyer and they have 2 children, a daughter and a son.

Early political career

Wee begin his political career in Johor Bahru Malaysian Chinese Association, which he joined in 1992.. He was the Division Secretary of MCA Johor Bahru Division from 1993 to 2005. After that, he is elected as Johor Bahru's MCA Majidi Branch chairman from 1996 to 2008, and became the MCA Johor Bahru Division Youth Chief from 2002 to 2008.

In 2005 during the National MCA Youth election, he was elected as the National MCA Youth Wing Secretary General, and was appointed as the National MCA Youth Education Bureau Chief (2005–2008). He was awarded The Outstanding Young Malaysian (TOYM) Award (Politics, Governmental Affairs & Legal) (马来西亚十大杰出青年奖) by the Junior Chamber International Malaysia; this award was presented to him by Dato' Sri Ong Tee Keat, then Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, in Kuala Lumpur on 25 November 2005.

On 13 October 2008, Wee was elected unopposed as the MCA Youth Chief for the 2008–2011 term, taking over the position from the Health Minister, Dato' Sri Liow Tiong Lai. On 11 November 2008, Wee Ka Siong was elected to lead the MCA Malacca State Liaison Committee.[3] Prior to this, he was the secretary general for Malaysia Chinese Association Youth Wing.

In 2013, he contested, and won, the deputy presidency of the full party.[4]

Cabinet Minister (2014–2018)

After the MCA's disastrous performance in the 2013 election, losing eight of its fifteen seats, the MCA voluntarily withdrew from its ministerial positions. The party returned in 2014 and Wee Ka Siong, by then the deputy president of the party, was appointed to the Cabinet as Minister in the Department.[5]

After months of public speculations about Wee's health, on 2 May 2016 he made a statement that he would undergo a spinal surgery abroad and promised he will recover and return to duty soon.[6][7][8]

Wee Ka Siong is the only member of MCA to hold a seat in the parliament after the Malaysian general election in May 2018.[9]

Minister of Transport (2020-2022)

After the 2020–21 Malaysian political crisis, Wee has been appointed as Minister of Transport by the ruling government Perikatan Nasional.

Loke Siew Fook took over as Minister of Transport following the 2022 Malaysian general election.[10]

Controversies and issues

Cabotage policy

Wee Ka Siong, had on November 13, 2020, signed a federal gazette revoking the cabotage exemption to foreign ships involved in the repair of submarine cables, which connects Malaysia to the global internet network. The exemption helped speed up repairs of submarine cables that are damaged from time to time, causing internet disruption in the country. In November 23, tech giants, including Microsoft, Google and Facebook, have turned to Prime Minister of Malaysia Muhyiddin Yassin for intervention over a decision by Wee Ka Siong, which they say will hamper Malaysia's internet infrastructure.[11]

In November 26, Wee Ka Siong has assured tech giants Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Malaysia Internet Exchange (MyIX) that foreign vessels would be allowed to carry out undersea communications cable repair works if local vessels are unable to do it or are located too far from the areas where repairs are needed.[12]

The long-running spat between Wee Ka Siong and DAP's Lim Guan Eng over the cabotage policy on foreign ships that repair submarine cables in Malaysia. In 2 November 2021, the two rival politicians are set for a one-hour debate session that started at 9.30pm. It is aired on Astro Awani and TV8, as well as on TV3’s social media pages.[13]

Election results

Parliament of Malaysia: P148 Ayer Hitam, Johor[14][15][16][17]
Year Votes Pct Opponent(s) Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
2004 Wee Ka Siong (MCA) 20,065 82.34% Mohd Zamri Mat Taksis (PAS) 4,302 17.66% 25,218 15,763 76.87%
2008 Wee Ka Siong (MCA) 20,230 76.11% Hussin Sujak (PAS) 6,321 23.78% 27,488 13,909 78.98%
2013 Wee Ka Siong (MCA) 22,045 59.79% Hu Pang Chaw (PAS) 14,735 39.96% 37,839 7,310 88.18%
2018 Wee Ka Siong (MCA) 17,076 43.98% Liew Chin Tong (DAP) 16,773 43.20% 38,824 303 85.52%
Hj Mardi Marwan (PAS) 4,975 12.82%
2022 Wee Ka Siong (MCA) 18,911 40.50% Sheikh Umar Bagharib Ali (DAP) 15,948 34.16% 46,692 2,963 76.49%
Muhammad Syafiq A Aziz (BERSATU) 11,833 25.34%

Honours

  •  Malacca :
    • Companion Class I of the Order of Malacca (DMSM) - Datuk (2008)[18]
    • Grand Commander of the Order of Malacca (DGSM) - Datuk Seri (2015)[19]

See also

References

  1. "SEATING ARRANGEMENT OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES". Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  2. "MCA polls: New leaders will bring a breath of fresh air, says Lee". The Star. 22 December 2013. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  3. ‘Old and new’ formula for Malacca MCA to regain seats, The Star (Malaysia), 22 November 2008
  4. "MCA polls: Former health minister Liow Tiong Lai is new president". asiaone. 21 December 2013. Archived from the original on 8 November 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  5. Akil Yunus (14 October 2014). "Dr Wee's first 100 days challenging, but minister happy with progress". The Star. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  6. FOONG PEK YEE (2 May 2016). "Dr Wee to undergo spinal surgery". The Star. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  7. KOI KYE LEE (2 May 2016). "MCA deputy president to undergo spinal surgery this week". New Straits Times. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  8. "Wee Ka Siong to undergo spinal surgery". Free Malaysia Today. 2 May 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  9. Foong Pek Yee (2 June 2018). "Wee: MCA had no room to say 'no' in the past". The Star.
  10. "No beef with Wee, we're friends, says Loke". Free Malaysia Today. 6 December 2022.
  11. "Tech giants turn to Muhyiddin after Wee's 'abrupt' move". Malaysiakini. 23 November 2020. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  12. Bernama (26 November 2020). "Wee assures tech giants on undersea cable repair works". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  13. Mohd, Hariz (2 November 2021). "Cabotage policy: Wee vs Lim debate on live TV". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 16 November 2021.
  14. "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen/Dewan Undangan Negeri" (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  15. "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen/Dewan Undangan Negeri" (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
  16. "KEPUTUSAN PILIHAN RAYA UMUM 13". Sistem Pengurusan Maklumat Pilihan Raya Umum. Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  17. "Malaysia General Election". undiinfo Malaysian Election Data. Malaysiakini. Retrieved 4 February 2017. Results only available from the 2004 election.
  18. "Datukship for Shah Rukh Khan". The Star. 11 October 2008. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  19. "Dr Wee gets Malacca award". The Star. 10 October 2015. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
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