KUCHING: The ninth Sarawak elections will see 10 women candidates – the highest number so far – in the fray and already one of them has given the Barisan Nasional a head start on nomination day.
Incumbent Datin Fatimah Abdullah, 49, retained the Melanau-majority Dalat seat in the Mukah district unchallenged.
Fatimah turned up at the Dalat district office yesterday morning to file her nomination papers, and was prepared for a straight fight with Independent candidate Ibrahim Seruji @ Songly who also submitted his papers.
But 15 minutes later, Ibrahim withdrew his candidacy.
Fatimah, who was defending the Dalat seat for a second term, was all smiles after delivering a win for Barisan, which also saw its Daro seat unopposed.
In this election, the Barisan has doubled its number of women candidates from three to six, while the DAP fielded three and Sarawak National Party, one.
Lawyer Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali, 37, will continue her mother’s battle against Parti Keadilan Rakyat state chief Wan Zainal Abidin Wan Senusi at the Malay-majority Samariang seat in Kuching.
“We will win but I can’t say it will be an easy fight,” said Hasidah, stepping into the shoes of her mother Datuk Sharifah Mordiah Tuanku Fauzi, the incumbent whom Wan Zainal Abidin challenged in the 2001 polls.
In what has been touted as the battle of beauties for the hot Chinese-majority Meradong seat, SUPP’s new face Wong Tze Yeng, 26, will face 25-year-old law graduate Ting Tze Fui of DAP in a five-cornered fight. The other three are independent candidates.
Headmistress Rosey Yunus, Barisan’s first Kedayan candidate in the elections, put her name down for the Bekenu seat. The Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party member will do battle with Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s Mohdar Ismail.
The sole SNAP woman candidate Ibi Uding is in a three-cornered tussle with the Barisan’s Snowdan Lawan of Parti Rakyat Sarawak. The other challenger is Independent Cobbold John Lusoi.
The sixth Barisan woman candidate, newcomer Semoi Peri of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu, faces Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s Abang Othman Abang Gom for the Lingga seat.
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