Tuesday, April 8, 2008

MY ADUN Series: Wong the maverick politician

Thursday March 27, 2008
MY ADUN: Kuala Kubu Baharu
Koon Mun: He believes in learning new trades.
Full name: Wong Koon Mun

Party: MCA
Age: 47

Marital status: Married with four daughters, aged 17, 14, 13 and 10 years old

Hometown: Batang Kali

Education: SRJKC Batang Kali; Tsun Jin High School; SMK Sri Garing, Rawang;
Institut Teknologi Jaya – Diploma in Civil Engineering

Profession: Businessman

Constituency: Kuala Kubu Baharu
(under the Hulu Selangor parliamentary constituency).
Beat DAP’s K.A. Ramu with a 448-vote majority

Contact details 03-6064 1039 (Service centre); konm_m@yahoo.com

FROM sewing to cooking to operating an excavator, Kuala Kubu Baharu state assemblyman Wong Koon Mun, a jack-of-all-trades, has done them all.
The 47-year-old businessman is a firm believer in learning new skills and trades.

As a businessman, he expanded his grandfather’s construction business, went into farming dragon fruit, tried his hand at selling induction cookers and even ventured into landscaping.

“I believe in learning new trades. I can do basic sewing and I even learnt to operate an excavator so that I can do it myself when the operator is on leave,” he said.

With his new responsibility as an elected representative for the people, Wong leaves his business in the trusted hands of his family members and business partners.

“I’ve been active in politics since 1987. I’ve helped candidates in the previous four general elections. Now, I spend about 70% of my time in politics,” said Wong, who had served for nine years as a Hulu Selangor district councillor.

Wong spends time with his wife and four daughters on weekends, and dinner together on Sunday nights is a must.

“I really appreciate my wife who is very independent. She stopped working last year to take care of our children. I also appreciate my daughters, who are also very independent and very matured,” he said.

To make up for his time away from the family, Wong takes his family on holidays to places like Bangkok, Bali, Hong Kong and Macau at least once a year.

“They love shopping so these places are perfect for them,” he said.

Wong, of the MCA, was elected the state assemblyman for Kuala Kubu Baharu after defeating DAP candidate Annamalai Ramu with a 448-vote majority in the recently concluded 12th general election. Wong polled 6,555 votes while Annamalai obtained 6,107.

StarMetro: How much time do you spend on the computer each day?
Wong: About two hours. But if I don’t have much to do at night, I'll spend about two hours to read the news online. I used to teach my daughters when they were younger but now I have to learn from them.

StarMetro: What kind of music do you listen to?
Wong: I like Chinese classical music, like those by Teresa Teng, and music with the sounds of the er hu and gu zhen.

StarMetro: Do you play any musical instruments?
Wong: I used to play the guitar, organ and harmonica when I was in school but now with karaoke, I prefer to sing.

StarMetro: What was the last book you read?
Wong: I love books. I’ve started reading The World is Flat.

StarMetro: What is your favourite movie?
Wong: I don’t watch movies very often. I don’t have much time to spare so the only TV programmes I watch are documentaries and news.

StarMetro: Do you have a nickname?
Wong: My friends used to call me Seh Cheong, after Michael Hui’s character in the movie Private Eyes because we have the same Chinese name (Koon Mun).

StarMetro: Can you cook?
Wong: I love to cook. I can cook better than my wife. I started cooking when I was in Standard Two. I was the oldest out of six siblings and during the school holidays, I would cook for them when my mother went to work. If I try a dish at a restaurant, I can make it when I get home, with about a success rate of about 80%.

StarMetro: What is your favourite sport?
Wong: Basketball. I used to be a school player. Now I like playing golf but seldom have the time for it.
StarMetro: Do you like coffee or tea?
Wong: Coffee. I like Hainanese coffee.

StarMetro: What languages do you speak?
Wong: Besides English and Bahasa Malaysia, I also speak Cantonese, Mandarin, Hakka, and Hokkien.

StarMetro: Your must-carry gadget?
Wong: My Nokia Communicator.

StarMetro: You have a weakness for...
Wong: Food. I love food. Even when I’m travelling, sightseeing is secondary. I must try the food in the places I travel to.
I would easily put on 3kg to 5kg every time I travel. I walked so much during my campaigning that I lost 7kg.

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