SANDAKAN: Vivian Wong, DAP's candidate for the by-election here, says she could not attend a forum organised by Sabah Bersih 2.0 because she has a packed election campaign schedule.
“My schedule is tight. I just came back from Pulau Berhala and I rushed here to have a press conference.
“I really couldn’t slot in any more time,” she said to reporters after a walkabout at Pasar Besar in Sandakan town on Sunday (May 5).
Pressed on the matter, Wong said she had already spoken to her campaign manager regarding the forum while maintaining that her campaign schedule is tight due to the presence of several Cabinet ministers from Peninsular Malaysia.
“I had a discussion with my campaign manager and we decided that we don’t want to mess it because our schedule has been planned ahead," said Wong.
She also maintained that her absence in the forum was not because it wasn’t an important matter.
“It was a last minute (forum), and we really cannot slot in any time,” she added.
The three independent candidates in the Sandakan by-election - Hamzah Abdullah, Sulaiman Abdul Samat and Chia Siew Yong - have confirmed their participation in the forum on Monday (May 6).
The electoral watchdog had said that it wants to provide an avenue for the candidates to speak on their ideas, aspirations and plans should they win the parliamentary seat.
The forum is free of charge and open to the public and will be held at Hotel Labuk, Bandar Labuk Jaya from 10am to noon on Monday.
The May 11 by-election was triggered by the death of Wong's father, former MP Datuk Stephen Wong, on March 28.
It will see a five-cornered fight between DAP, Parti Bersatu Sabah, and three independent candidates.