Another Sabah-born is set for Aussie impact
Published on: Sunday, February 17, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: Sandakan-born Stella Yee (pic) is standing for the Australian federal election in May. She can beat Kevin Andrews, a long-standing Liberal Party Member of Parliament for Menzies, and become the first Malaysian-born Member of Parliament in the Lower House, in contrast to Penny Wong, the other well-known Sabah-born Senator elected to the Upper House years ago. 

Similar to Penny, Stella is also standing under the Australian Labor Party ticket.

So what is attracting this latest ex-Sabahan to politics Down Under?

On large matters affecting human wellbeing, Stella said: 

“I have always been interested in issues around equality.

“Governments can ensure everyone has the chance to better themselves,” she argued.

On specific local infrastructure and livelihood issues, she questioned the long-standing government neglect and responsibility.

“There is no TAFE (Aussie acronym for Technical And Further Education), no hospital and no rail transport,” she noted.

“There is nothing in Menzies because it’s been taken for granted for too long.”   

Hailed from Sandakan and moved to Australia with husband Felix Wong and two children only 20 years ago in 2001, they started life Down Under in Surrey Hills but later settled down in Doncaster in 2004 where their third child was born. 

“My husband has been here for business and was offered a job in Melbourne,” she explained.

“We fell in love with this place when we saw more of it and we absolutely love living here,” Stella claimed. 

From all accounts, politics looks like a logical next step, given reports that she has been active in community work and also runs an after-school programme teaching primary-age Chinese.

And probably her area has a large population of Italian migrants, she is studying Italian through a U3A at The Pines and volunteers to spend time with elderly Italians an hour at a time just talking or have coffee.

But apparently Stella thinks that is not big enough. 

After uprooting herself from Sabah and made a long march to new life Down Under where she has settled down in an apparently neglected area, she knows only the authority of an established power can give her the large means to say goodbye to TAFE, no hospital and no rail transport and inequality among men. - Kan Yaw Chong


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