>ALOR STAR, MALAYSIA - A mere three days after being appointed Kedah state executive councillor, Tan Wei Shu was ready to throw in the towel. "It was sheer madness. There was just tonnes of paperwork and endless appointments," recalled the 60-year-old Bakar Arang state assemblyman.
Unable to deal with it all, Tan had prepared his resignation letter and was ready to hand it to Menteri Besar Azizan Abdul Razak the next day.
Thankfully, the former masseur-turned-politician decided to confide in his wife Boo Yu Ai, 57.
He also spoke to their two teenage children.
"They listened to what I had to say. When I finished, they asked me if I was serious about quitting the post.
"And, immediately the faces of my voters and party leaders appeared before me. I looked at my wife and children and shook my head."
Tan is full of praise for his wife and children who helped him to realise that he had a duty to serve the people.
"They are my pillar of strength. At times, it seems they know better what I am supposed to do.
"Of course, if I had quit the post, I would have been a disappointment to the people who voted for me."
Tan said he now knew that he had a mission to serve the people, regardless of whether or not he was a greenhorn.
"My wife reminded me that it was like looking after my family in Sungai Petani, except that this time my family is bigger.
"I knew then that I have to finish what I started when I got into politics several years ago."
The Parti Keadilan Rakyat state assemblyman, who has a certificate from the Homeopathic Medical Association of Malaysia, defeated Barisan Nasional's three-term incumbent Datuk Soon Kok Wah in the March 8 general election.
He has the distinction of being the only Chinese in the Pas-led state executive council and is in charge of the environment, transport and chinese community portfolio.
These days, Tan takes things in his stride. He never misses any meetings, especially those that involve his constituents.
Tan has a good team of people working with him and is passionate about keeping the environment clean and safe from pollution.
Tan is also worried about the high number of deaths on the road and is determined to make a difference.
"Our roads must be well maintained because it is not just human error which causes accidents."
A fast learner, Tan has won praise from local Chinese leaders who are pleased with the way he has tackled issues affecting the community.
Among them is the issue of land for the proposed expansion of SRJK (C) Pumpong, here. Tan is confident the problem will be solved soon.