Sunday January 13, 2013
Sibu MP optimistic of full recovery after brain tumour confirmation
SIBU: After several days of speculation about his health, Sibu MP Wong Ho Leng announced that he has glioma.
“I am a public figure and I have no intention of hiding anything from the people,” Wong said at a press conference at the DAP office here yesterday.
He said he was currently undergoing a six-week radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore after neurosurgeons in Australia found a glioma (tumour) in his brain stem last Dec 20.
“The glioma is primary. It did not spread from elsewhere. It causes slur in my speech and impaired my swallowing functions,” Wong, who is also Bukit Assek assemblyman and Sarawak DAP chairman, said.
He related that he felt exhausted before attending the party national convention in Penang last Dec 15 and had felt seriously unwell after that.
“I could not even stand up or swallow water at the Penang International Airport before boarding a flight to the Gold Coast in Australia to join my family on a vacation there.”
He said after arriving in Australia, he immediately went for a medical examination.
“Luckily, I went to Australia otherwise I probably would not have gone for a thorough medical check-up.”
He said after seeking second opinion from local neurosurgeons and at their advice, he decided to seek treatment in Singapore.
Wong said he was positive of a full recovery.
“Though the treatment is only at an early stage, I have felt the healing process.
“There is no complication, no sensitivity except a few rashes on my neck. I am now feeling a lot better. With God’s grace and the people’s prayers, I am certain I can soar above the storms,” Wong said confidently.
He said since news of his illness broke out, he had received a lot of well-wishes especially from colleagues and supporters from throughout the country and overseas.
“I urge my supporters not to be distraught or despair but to turn this episode into strength.
“I promise that I will continue to be in the thick and thin of the general election and lead the battle in Sarawak. I pledge that in sickness or in health, I will continue to stand with you in this general election and beyond,” Wong stressed.
He insisted that his illness would not warrant his retirement from politics, at least for now.
“The issue of retiring from politics does not arise. It is also a non issue now to replace me with another candidate to contest in the Sibu parliamentary constituency,” Wong said, adding that he was still the best choice.
However, he said, if a replace-ment was really necessary, the candidate should be more popular and more acceptable to the people than him.
He also said there was no plan for a Select Committee meeting to discuss the matter.
When asked to comment on a newspaper report saying that Kuching-based cardiologist Dr Tang Sie Hing had put aside RM300,000 of his savings on standby in case the party wanted him to defend Sibu or any other seat, Wong said he strongly felt the candidate should be “our own people from Sibu”.
“I don’t believe in parachuting a candidate from elsewhere. Not that we don’t welcome people from outside but we have already groo-med our own people,” Wong explained.
He said his wife Irene Chang, who is the party’s women chief here, could also be a potential candidate.
“But this is not an issue now. I am recovering and I don’t look sick enough to retire from politics.”
Wong leaves for Singapore today to continue his treatment.