SANDAKAN: With only one day of campaigning left for the Sandakan by-election, Sabah opposition parties put on a united front in a ceramah to support Parti Bersatu Sabah's (PBS) candidate Datuk Linda Tsen in a bid to pull off an upset against DAP in its two-term stronghold.
PBS’ ceramah at Dewan Rekreasi in Bandar Indah Jaya on Thursday (May 9) night featured speakers from Sabah Umno and Usno, as well as attendance by PAS, Sabah STAR, MCA and Sabah Progressive Party.
The first speaker who took to the stage was Tsen, a former two-term Batu Sapi MP, who spoke for the first time in a ceramah during in the campaign, breaking her silence as campaigning for the Sandakan by-election enters its 13th day.
She raised various issues plaguing locals which she identified during the 14-days of campaigning, including a stagnant economy, housing and the unfulfilled promises in Pakatan Harapan’s election manifesto.
"After spending time with locals here, I have listened to their woes.
"But these complaints aren’t new because as the Elopura PBS division chief, I have heard about the stagnant economy which caused many premises to be shut down in town.
“Now, Sandakan is known as a dead town,” she said.
Tsen said if she were to win, she would use her experience as a former MP to address these issues in Parliament.
“We only have one more day to campaign. Let us have high spirits and work hard to ensure our success together,” she added.
Meanwhile, Tuaran Umno chief Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan, who spoke right after Tsen, praised the 63-year-old for being “flexible, soft and beautiful”.
He said if Tsen won the Sandakan polls, she could “slap” DAP for being arrogant.
“Tsen can give a political slap to DAP so they can wake up from arrogance. Don’t worry Tsen, as far as Umno supporters are concerned, we will support you 150%.”
Former Parliament speaker and Umno leader Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia announced his membership in Usno when he spoke.
“Count me as a friend to destroy this Pakatan government,” he said.
Pandikar added that Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) was akin to an ostrich, a “bird that cannot fly”.
“They have a big body and wings. But, they can’t fly. If they see an enemy, they bury their head in the sand.
“They think that if they cannot see an enemy, the enemy cannot see them,” he said, drawing laughter from the crowd.
Drawing on his experience as a former parliament speaker during the Barisan Nasional administration, Pandikar said Tsen was a courteous MP compared to DAP’s female MPs.
He claimed that DAP's female MPs in Parliament were particularly rowdy, as he switched to a high-pitched voice to mock them.
“(But), Tsen isn’t. She follows the rules,” he added.
The Sandakan by-election will take place on Saturday (May 11). It will see a five-cornered fight between PBS, DAP and three independent candidates.