KOTA KINABALU: While DAP had it easy in announcing its candidate to defend the Sandakan seat yesterday, there is still no sign of who will represent Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) – the state’s key opposition party.
The only indication from PBS is that the candidate will be someone who would appeal to younger voters.
The candidate, according to PBS president Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili, will be announced in Sandakan today.
“No candidate is perfect, but we will be fielding someone who is marketable and can be accepted by our comrades from other opposition parties,” he said.
Speaking to reporters at the PBS headquarters in Penampang after chairing the party’s supreme council meeting, Ongkili said the meeting had endorsed their participation in the by-election.
Nomination for the May 11 by-election will be held tomorrow.
Speculation is rife that PBS might field former Batu Sapi MP Datuk Linda Tsen to recapture the seat it once held from 1990 to 1999.
Other possible candidates included Tsen’s former aide Kong Nyuk Thou, who is PBS’ Elopura division chief, and Tsang Hieng Yee, whose last known position was Sabah Liberal Democratic Party youth chief.
Other opposition parties such as Parti Solidariti Tanah AirKu as well as MCA and Umno are sitting out of the race, as are Sabah Progressive Party, Sabah PAS and Usno Baru, since the Sandakan seat is widely seen as a DAP stronghold.
So far, three individuals – Chia Siew Yung, Sulaiman Samat and Hamzah Abdullah – have announced their interest to contest as independent candidates.