Silicon Valley’s Sim Tze Tzin: Among The Best of PKR’s New Generation

September 27, 2010

Silicon Valley’s Sim Tze Tzin: Among The Best of PKR’s New Generation of Leaders

By Terence Netto

COMMENT: It’s too early to say, but the PKR Bayan Baru divisional elections last weekend may well be a template for the party’s future.

The run-up to the elections quickly crystallised into a contest between the past and future in Malaysian politics.  Simply put, this past is race warped; the future, if a PKR-led opposition coalition wins the next general election, would accelerate the unshackling of the Malaysian polity from tethers of race that have for too long bound it.

The triumph of Sim Tze Tzin (left), the PKR assemblyperson for Pantai Jerejak, who polled 499 votes to competitor M Nyanasegaran’s 260, is seen as a victory for the new politics that PKR is trying to espouse.

In Sim, the contest had a candidate who mirrors PKR’s future as Nyanasegaran, formerly of Gerakan and MIC, is a throwback to a past of Malaysian politics that PKR’s fondest supporters firmly desire to see consigned to oblivion.

Nyanasegaran, older to the mid-thirtyish Sim by two decades, ought to have triumphed, given that when he joined PKR after the tsunami of March 2008, he brought into the party, as he pledged to, 3,500 members to beef up the already existing 1,500 members.

In the event, very few members whom he had registered with PKR Bayan Baru turned up at last Saturday’s divisional elections. In all some 800 members out of the total 5,500 attended the division’s elective annual general meeting. Observers were expecting busloads from addresses in Perai, Bukit Mertajam, Kulim and Sungai Petani, to arrive with supporters of Nyanasegaran who had furnished these locations when he had his contingent registered.

Those busloads didn’t materialise and observers were left with the surmise that the Indian Malaysian complement of PKR, said to have gone up to 40 percent of the total 400,000 party membership, is an apparition best known to ex-MIC regional sovereigns who joined post-tsunami and brought with them scores of their supposed wards.

Nyanasegaran nominated himself for Penang Datukship

Nyanasegaran operated in the Bayan Baru division as aide to then PKR MP for Bayan Baru, Datu Seri Zahrain Mohd Hashim, who quit the party last February in a pall of vituperation against Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim.

Like Zahrain, Nyanasegaran had expectations of immediate reward for his feat in bringing in 3,500 new members; only that he was more discreet than his former patron and BN colleague.In 2009 and this year, he put himself forward for a state datukship and asked to be included in the Penang Hindu temple endowments boards. These requests went unmet.

Normally, when you are new to a party, it’s best you take the seats at the rear and wait for others to notice your good work before you step up to the plate. But within two years of joining PKR, Nyanasegaran put himself up for the division chairmanship. Well, he could say rival Sim had also joined not earlier than 2006 and so could not pull rank. But unlike Nyanasegaran, PKR was Engineer and MBA-holder Sim’s first political port of call while the former had been around the block.

Silicon Valley Engineer with MBA

Sim became an aide, principally on Chinese affairs, to Anwar Ibrahim four years ago. Schooled at Penang’s top Chinese spawning grounds, he furthered his studies in engineering in California, worked there for a while and took his MBA before returning to Malaysia to plunge into life of politics.

After his election as PKR state representative for Pantai Jerejak, his maiden address to the state assembly was favourably cited by the speaker as a model of reasoned exposition. In his contest with Nyanasegaran, Sim had been an opponent who held to the middle notes and resisted the extremes of stereotyping and wild accusation.

His victory puts him in pole position to be the PKR parliamentary candidate in a fast approaching general election.  Should he be the candidate and should he regain the seat for his party, the Penang assembly’s loss would be the federal parliament’s gain.

And the polity’s struggle to free itself of the race canker that has long blighted its existence will have advanced a step.

7 thoughts on “Silicon Valley’s Sim Tze Tzin: Among The Best of PKR’s New Generation

  1. Congrats Sim. Keep serving your constituents and lead by example. When I first met you at DSAI’s Office in September 2007, I knew that you were a unique Penangnite who was prepared to leave Silicon Valley and a good career and return to Malaysia for a worthy political cause. It was my pleasure to have had an opportunity of working with you. –Din Merican

  2. SIM-ply simple, Din..
    All PKRians have got to do, is to kick out all these al-Kataki who can’t seem to get beyond their parochial sentiments of race, creed and political indoctrination. Busloads of bought-over ‘voting’ amphibians are the symbols of irredeemiable Be-Enders.

  3. SIMply too good to be true! But it is! SYABAS! Sim is but merely some of the goodmen who came back to, hopefully, put things back on the right track.

    SIMply put for now, he is proving to be a true Malaysian.
    *tabik spring*

  4. Three monthgs ago, I SMS’ed YB Sim about the door of the Smoking Lounge at the Penang Airport being broken and the smoke was getting into the main departure lobby irritating other passengers, he immediately forwarded my message to the Director of DCA copied to me.

    On my return flight, the door was fixed and there was even a new signage. I knew then, YB Sim was a “man of action” even for the smallest task like this. Bravo YB! Keep up the good work!

  5. Pak Din, Thank you for your kind words. Thank you all for the support. It was a humbling experience and I will work extra hard so that I wont let everyone down. TQ again!
    Tze Tzin, be the change that you want for our country. Serve your constituents well and you will win again. Take care.–Din

  6. Look like Tze Tzin has all the required and important qualities of a good political leader. Maybe the next CM of Penang when Malacca falls to Pakatan and LGE take over as malacca CM. Be careful of some of the kataks , especially from MIC and Gerakan. Easily swayed with money. Keep up the Good work. Hope to meet you one of these days. Congratulations on your win.

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