SANDAKAN: Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) has named Datuk Linda Tsen Thau Lin, the former Batu Sapi MP to face off DAP's Vivian Wong, a political newbie in the looming May 11 polls.
The announcement was made by PBS president Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili during a press conference at the party's headquarters here on Friday (April 26), where he appealed to the Sandakan folks who have a history of voting against the establishment, to exercise their independence in supporting the PBS candidate to voice Sabah's rights in Parliament.
"She is not foreign to Sandakan. And, as a two-term parliamentarian, she has a proven track record and the best choice to be the voice of the Sandakan people in the Parliament.
"We need a person who is not only experienced, but has served her previous constituents well. She is very likeable and close to the grassroots."
The Batu Sapi parliamentary constituency is part of the Sandakan municipality.
Ongkili also described Tsen as a "dedicated and hardworking senior grassroots leader", adding that the 63-year-old has a good chance on taking on DAP.
Ongkili, who is Kota Marudu MP, said that there were disappointments and frustrations expressed by locals towards the Pakatan Harapan government's failure to fulfil its election manifesto.
"We could turn away and leave the current government to continue making mistakes, but we cannot allow the people to continue suffering. We need to make a stand on these issues for the good of the people.
"A lot of things are not right, the list is long. This is our (PBS) call of duty - to offer an option for the Sandakan voters to defend their rights and make their voices heard. Our mission is straightforward," he said.
Meanwhile, Ongkili said the party will be pursuing pertinent issues such as the Malaysia Agreement 1963, security and development matters that affect the livelihood of the people here
"People continue to express their concerns on security and livelihood development in Sandakan, how their livelihood is affected due to the poor economic growth, escalating prices of goods and services, and depressed in commodity prices.
"The government cannot just simply announce allocation here and there with the hope to win the people's hearts. Plus these projects were approved by the then Barisan Nasional government.
"These are the kind of issues that PBS has championed and our candidate is dedicated to the task," he said.
"We call on the Sandakan voters to give our candidate your support. Sandakan people has a political tradition of being independent of mind and anti-establishment, and we salute you for that.
"In the past, they always wanted a leader of proven qualities to be their voice in Parliament. Such a task is not for a rookie politician to perform.
"We need a proven and seasoned Member of Parliament to do the job. And Datuk Linda Tsen is in the best position to be the flag bearer and the voice of Sandakan.
"We call on the voters of Sandakan and supporters of like-minded opposition parties, to give us your support, trust and confidence.
"To our political friends - STAR, SAPP, Usno, Umno and MCA, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), let's work together with us in PBS and have a united voice to pursue this common goal together.
Nominations for Sandakan's by-election is set for Saturday (April 27) and polling will be held on May 11.
The by-elections was called following the death of incumbent two-term DAP MP Datuk Stephen Wong Tien Fatt.