KOTA KINABALU: A squabbling opposition in the city here may just turn the tide for newcomer Chin Tek Min in his bid to capture one of the hottest parliamentary seats in the west coast of Sabah.
The more seasoned Hiew King Cheu of DAP and Christina Liew of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) are quarrelling in public and blaming each other that three candidates are vying against one Barisan Nasional candidate.
This state of affairs is more than likely to work in favour of Chin, a 38-year-old lawyer from Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS),
who is in a four-cornered fight with the two opposition figures and independent candidate Kong Yu Kiong, a former aide of Christina.
“This is very tough fight, I am going in for the first time against some veteran politicians. It is a long way to March 8,” said Chin who did not want to comment on his rivals’ verbal sparring and the possible advantage for him.
Chin is taking up the seat from PBS deputy president Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai, who is contesting the
Api Api state seat in a straight fight with Christina, which is also dubbed a tough fight though Dr Yee, a state minister, has the upper hand.
Hiew’s disappointment with PKR is that Christina decided to contest two seats – Kota Kinabalu and Api Api – while he stayed away from Api Api to let her have a straight fight with Dr Yee.
However, Christina counters that PKR gave way to the DAP in the Sandakan parliamentary seat and Karamunting state seat in the east coast in anticipation that the DAP would reciprocate in Kota Kinabalu, an area seen by the Barisan as close to black.
Dr Yee and Chin are seen to be going in separate ways from Barisan candidates Melanie Chia in Luyang and Datuk Liew Teck Chan in Likas; Chia and Teck Chan are from the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) whose president Datuk Yong Teck Lee failed to wrangle the Kota Kinabalu seat from the PBS.
The SAPP core supporters from the Likas and Luyang areas in the Kota Kinabalu parliamentary constituency might be hesitant to support Chin since PBS had refused to accommodate Yong’s request for the seat.
“Sometimes it look like the Likas and Luyang voters are kingmakers of Kota Kinabalu,” said Christina, who believes the final decision will be in the hands of the 43,714 voters of whom 79% are Chinese.