SANDAKAN: Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal is confident that Pakatan Harapan's losing streak in by-elections will stop in the Sandakan by-election this Saturday (May 11).
The Parti Warisan Sabah president said Sandakan could create a different story from the other by-elections, as the constituents are wise and could not be easily manipulated.
"Sandakan voters are not easily bought off by money or words.
"There are many by-elections, but we can prove that Sabah is different. I am confident that Sandakan would create a historic feat for us, in terms of by-elections," he said.
Shafie said this when asked about its chances after a walkabout with DAP candidate Vivian Wong at the market downtown on Wednesday (May 8).
He added that despite the good feedback among the people towards Vivian, the election machinery would not be complacent and will campaign aggressively.
"Vivian's late father, Datuk Stephen Wong was not a stranger to many of the constituents here, and I can see from their (voters) body language and conversations, that they remembered his deeds.
"At the same time, Vivian is approachable and accessible to the people.
"I believe with the assistance of not only the state but also federal government, she can become an effective representative of the people.
"There are still many problems which are remnants of the previous government that needs to be fixed," he added.
He said that since the Warisan-led state government took over in less than a year, they have banned the export of logs and are in the midst of reviving the barter trade in the coastal here, which the previous Barisan Nasional government had stopped.
"We want to develop a furniture industry in Sandakan and build furniture factories here, that was what the late Stephen had been voicing out. We can get wood supplies from Ranau or Lahad Datu.
"The barter trade, meanwhile, would be revived but it will take time, as vessels from the Philippines are required to fall into the right specifications, according to the international trade. Once settled, the state government will announce (the revival)," he explained.
Shafie lamented how Sandakan was a vibrant town back in the 60s with many activities, but as time passed, things slowed down, particularly during the Barisan era.
"So you can imagine the closing down of many shops. It is not because of our doing, it is because of the impact of the economic crisis and the wrongdoings of the previous regimes which we need to rectify," he added.