Datuk Lai Vai Ming

L DP doesn’t take passengers. That’s the advice, if not a warning, from Datuk VM Lai to Party members.

And he can say so because he has been in the Party for too long to understand that only perseverance pays if anyone would want to achieve anything at all.

“So for LDP young blood who think they have what it takes to move a step higher on the leadership hierarchy, the first to note on their ‘why-I-am-the-one’ list is whether they are merely taking a ride or really making a long-term commitment in the Party.”

“We’re grooming the second echelon of leaders to lead the LDP in the future.”

“For me, faithfulness to the Party is extremely important. If you don’t have this then how can you be trusted for anything else,” he says.

VM, a Chartered Accountant, himself was one of the founding members of the Party, joining it in 1989 together with several other founders.

He was with the Party in both good times and bad especially during its early days opposing the state government of the day then.

Second after loyalty is a sincere interest in politics.

“You also must have an interest in politics. And never ever expect to gain anything like position or wealth.”

“When we first joined it was out of a sincere need to serve the community. This I believe is what makes us stay for a long time,” he advises.

VM, who was the Party’s Secretary General since 1994, was appointed as a committee member of the Majlis Perundingan Ekonomi Negara Kedua (Mapen II) in 1999. ‘Mapen II’ was chaired by the then Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Datuk Dr Mahathir Mohamad with the objective to assess the achievement of the Dasar Pembangunan Nasional and to make proposals to the government on the social economic developments in the country.

Subsequently, VM was appointed as the sub-committee member of the National Unity program.

He was also appointed Chairman of the Sabah Credit Corporation from 2002 to 2008.

He is currently the Division Chairman of Sungai Sibuga Division in Sandakan.