KOTA KINABALU: Indications that opposition parties in the state will field a single candidate for the Sandakan by-election are emerging with nomination day less than a week away.
This is despite Barisan Nasional is working on its own candidate while two-party local opposition coalition Gabungan Bersatu Sabah (GBS) is discussing their choice of candidate.
Sabah Barisan chairman Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin said there was a possibility that they might field “BN direct” candidate.
Bung Moktar, who is also Sabah Umno chief and Kinabatangan MP, has been pushing for a single opposition candidate to take on Pakatan Harapan’s DAP.
Sabah Barisan is left with Sabah Umno and Sabah MCA with Sabah MIC becoming non-existent after the May 9 general election.
It is learnt that Barisan is looking at putting up an independent candidate to contest under its symbol.
Bung Moktar admitted that there had been little discussion with GBS which comprises Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and Parti Solidariti Tanah AirKu (Sabah STAR) over the matter.
PBS president Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili gave little indication if the party would contest while Sabah STAR president Datuk Dr Jeffery Kitingan said discussions were still ongoing.
Sabah Progressive Party led by former chief minister Datuk Yong Teck Lee said it was unlikely for his party to enter the fray in Sandakan.
The Election Commission has set May 11 as polling day for the Sandakan by-election after its two-term MP Datuk Stephen Wong of DAP passed away due to a heart attack on March 28. Nominations will be held on Saturday.
DAP is expected to field Wong’s 30-year-old daughter Vivian.