In memory of Leonard Hsing Yin Shean, MP Tanjong Aru 1986-1990

It is sad to receive news that Leonard Hsing Yin Shean, 63, breathed his last at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kota Kinabalu last night.

Hsing was Member of Parliament for Tanjong Aru from 1986 to 1990, during a term when the DAP had four MPs from Sabah – Sandakan, Gaya, Tanjong Aru and Tawau.

Hsing became an MP at the age of 26 years – a long-standing practice of the DAP since its formation in 1966 to ensure that the youths of Malaysia fully participate in the national affairs of the country.

My association with Sabah went back to May 13, 1969. On that morning, I flew from Subang in Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu to help in the election campaign of the Sabah Independent candidate William Lye as Sabah and Sarawak polling were to be held a fortnight after the peninsular election.

I was speaking at a mammoth public rally in Kota Kinabalu in the evening when I was informed that trouble had broken out in Kuala Lumpur although details were not clear.

The next morning, I was served with an eviction order from Sabah by the Sabah Chief Minister, Tun Mustapha, who was abusing his powers of immigration autonomy for my criticising his dictatorial ways as head of Sabah government in my rally speech.

I missed the flight (at that time there was only one flight out of Sabah a day) and in the process unwittingly saved my life, as a posse of Bajau horsemen who were strong supporters to Tun Mustapha was very incensed by my rally speech against Tun Mustapha the previous evening and wanted to “finish me off” at the Kota Kinabalu airport.

I remember at a Kota Kinabalu ceramah at the recent Sabah state general election last September, I asked whether there was anyone from the crowd who had attended my May 13, 1969 rally in Kota Kinabalu and several hands went up.

On 8th September 1993, Hsing was with me together with other party comrades when I climbed Low’s Peak at the summit of Mount Kinabalu.

Hsing was the proposer for the nomination of the current DAP MP for Kota KInabalu, Chan Foong Hin and worked for the DAP cause to the very end.

As former DAP MP for Kampar, Ngoi Thiam Woh said: “I will always remember Hsing as a principled and humble man that put the party before his own self-interest”.

Rest in Peace, Leonard Hsing Yin Shean!

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri