SANDAKAN: While the other candidates in the Sandakan by-election focus on bread-and-butter issues affecting the people, independent candidate Sulaiman Abdul Samat (pic) has taken a slightly different path.
One of his election promises is enforcing the ban of Oktoberfest at public areas as a respect to the Muslim population.
It was one of the four elements in his manifesto under Islamic development; the rest being strengthening the welfare of the people, restructuring administration in Sandakan, and youth development.
Sulaiman and his three-man election team handed out election pamphlets highlighting his manifesto during a campaign walkabout at shops and small vendors in Sri Taman on Monday (April 29) morning.
Other candidates had shied away from touching on religious matters in their election manifesto for the constituency, where the almost 40,000 voters are evenly split between Chinese voters
(51%) and Muslim bumiputras (45%) , with the remainder being Kadazandusun and others.
Besides pledging to build more mosques, surau and religious schools, the 36-year-old would also fight for planned housing for coastal houses and relocate the public market at Mile 2 to another cleaner and safer location.
The former civil administrative assistant also plans to restructure civil administration by replacing the president of Sandakan Municipal Council and promised to keep parking free in the city centre.
Sulaiman also wants to push for more skills courses to reduce unemployment amongst youths and prevent them from migrating, as well as reduce social ills by building recreational facilities for the youths.
“There is an annual RM5mil allocation under the Sandakan parliamentary constituency, and I will conduct projects based on the needs of the people,” he said.
Asked if he could bring about changes as an independent if he secures the seat, Sulaiman said, "Where my direction lies, depends on the people, if they want me to go to the government or otherwise.”
The candidate, who has been actively involved in politics over the past four years, including being a former member of Parti Perpaduan Rakyat Sabah (PPRS), however, did not elaborate on the matter.
The Sandakan polls is set to see a five-cornered fight between DAP, PBS, and three independent candidates.
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