SEMPORNA: Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal will be meeting DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng on Monday (April 8) to discuss the candidate and preparations for the Sandakan by-election.
He said that the candidate for the seat was for DAP to decide and Warisan and other coalition partners will work together to ensure that the seat will be retained by DAP.
"My discussions with Lim will be on preparations and ensuring that our election machinery is in place for the by-election," he told reporters after opening Semporna Warisan division meeting here on Sunday (April 7).
Shafie said that it should not be a problem for DAP in retaining the seat if all party machineries worked together on a united front.
The Sandakan seat was left vacant after the sudden death of its two-term incumbent Datuk Stephen Wong Tien Fatt on March 28.
Wong was also state Health and Wellbeing Minister and Sabah DAP chairman.
Nominations for the Sandakan by-election has been set for April 27.
Sabah DAP has proposed for Wong's youngest daughter Vivian Wong, 30, to be the candidate as the party indicated that she was the best choice considering that she was a party member and also served as a public relations officer in the state Health and Wellbeing Ministry.
However, the decision of the candidacy would be made by DAP's central executive committee who is also considering businessman Datuk John Khoo, who is Sabah Credit Corporation chairman, Stephen's public relations officer Jimmy Tsen as well Sandakan DAP member Bryan Chin.
The Sandakan seat is widely seen as a stronghold for DAP with the opposition parties yet to make clear stands on whether they are contesting.
Among them are former Barisan Nasional components Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), and Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) as well as Sabah MCA.
Sabah Progressive Party, who is part of the United Sabah Alliance or Gabungan Sabah, is likely to contest the seat but has yet to make any announcements.
Sabah Umno chairman Datuk Bung Mokthar Radin has urged the opposition to come up with a single candidate, saying that Umno will give its full support.
PAS has announced it will contest the mixed seat of about 40,000 voters with 51% Chinese voters and the rest mainly Muslim bumiputras.
The Sandakan parliamentary by-election has been set for May 11 with early voting on May 7.