Pakatan mustn’t be over-confident in Sandakan polls, says Sabah CM

Mohd Shafie and DAP's Vivian Wong, who will be contesting the seat that her late father held.

SANDAKAN: Pakatan Harapan must not be complacent in the run-up to the Sandakan by-election on May 11, says Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

He said the ruling coalition must work hard and reach out to voters across the constituency.

“There are grouses. But we know that we will work hard to bring forward the agenda to create more job opportunities,” he said to reporters during a press conference at SMK Tiong Hua on Saturday (April 27). 

Mohd Shafie’s remarks came following the losing streak by Pakatan in the Cameron Highlands parliamentary seat, as well as the Semenyih and Rantau state seat. 

He said Pakatan’s losing streak would cast a shadow over the Sandakan by-election where the state party machinery would be working closely with the federal government. 

“It is not going to be easy for us to resolve the people’s grievances and demands. Most importantly for us, we have a representative in the state and federal government. 

“We are confident that the journey to plan and channel aid (to the people of Sabah) can succeed with (Pakatan candidate) Vivian Wong,” he said.

He added that Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng had announced that development would take place in Sabah.

Mohd Shafie was referring to an announcement made by the DAP secretary-general who said 49 development projects in Sandakan worth RM2.28bil had been approved. 

DAP’s Wong will be up against Parti Bersatu Sabah's (PBS) Datuk Linda Tsen Thau Lin and three other independent candidates. 

Wong is the daughter of incumbent Sandakan MP Datuk Stephen Wong Tien Fatt, who died from a heart attack in March, triggering the by-election. 

On the candidates, Mohd Shafie said even though politics had no place for greenhorns, Wong had been working as her father’s public relations officer in the Sabah Health and Wellbeing Ministry.

He added that a candidate must be able to resolve the people’s grouses.

“PBS was in the state government for over 10 years and they have been with the Barisan Nasional government for 13 years. I don’t think PBS can do that (solve the people’s problems). They’ve tried for 10 years, but they failed," he said.

Sandakan has about 40,000 voters with the Chinese making up 51% of the electorate and Muslim bumiputras, including Bajaus, Suluks and Sungei, 45%.

The rest of the electorate is made up of Kadazandusun communities and other ethnic groups.

In GE14, the elder Wong won the seat with a 10,098-vote majority.


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