SANDAKAN: Security, tourism and bread-and-butter concerns are among the issues the candidates of the by-election here will harp on during the campaigning period.
DAP candidate Vivian Wong Shir Yee has already stated that she wants to continue her late father Stephen Wong's effort to boost the east coast district's economy through tourism.
Independent candidate Hamzah Abdullah, who is former Sabah PAS chief and former Sabah Parti Amanah Negara chairman, said he will raise the need to have direct international flights, such as those from China, coming in via Sandakan.
"I am not new in the political ring; I have been in this arena for the past 37 years and I know about the difficulties in Sandakan," said Hamzah who had in the past contested five times in various parliamentary and state seats but failed in all attempts.
"We need to have an opposition voice (to represent Sandakan) so the government will listen to the voice of the people. If you (MP) are from the government, they will be scared to speak up in Parliament. This includes security issues," he said after submitting his nomination papers on Saturday.
Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) candidate Linda Tsen Thau Lin, who is a seasoned politician and former Batu Sapi Member of Parliament, also noted the need to highlight security issues here, such as the location being potentially used as transit points for militants.
"So I am thankful for getting the support from the rest of the opposition, because if everyone (opposition) goes in it will be a split vote, and hard for opposition to get any where with too many candidates.
"I am standing because this will also be the first time PBS is using our flag (whereas we joined BN in the past),"said the 63-year-old who also got the backing of Umno, Usno, SAPP and STAR.
Independent candidate Sulaiman Abdul Samat, 36, who was an administration assistant in the civil service, meanwhile wants to restructure public administration, empower community welfare and focus on Islamic development.
The father of three brushed aside views that attention would only be focused at candidates from the political parties, stating that voters nowadays have matured and no longer just look at party candidates.
"The candidate chosen would be someone who can work. The point is you can do the work, so I believed I am qualified and capable of the responsibility," he added.
The third independent, Chia Siew Yung, is banking on his days in corporate industry for over 20 years to give him the edge.
"I will focus on the local problems, people-centred problems.
"I know how to use my corporate experience to serve. I also have mechanical engineering education background," added the 45-year-old.
Sandakan polls: Supporters turn up in droves despite heavy rain on nomination day
Five-cornered fight for Sandakan parliament seat