Liew facing eight opponents

Hot on the trail: Liew greeting voters during a walkabout at Gaya Street in Kota Kinabalu, on the second day of campaigning. — ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The Star

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah PKR chairman Datuk Christina Liew is fighting for political survival in the heart of the city.

Not only is the 69-year-old deputy chief minister defending her Api-Api seat for the third term in a nine-cornered fight, she is also facing three senior leaders.

They are LDP president Datuk Chin Su Phin, Parti Cinta Sabah (PCS) deputy president Datuk Pang Yuk Ming and PBS deputy president Datuk Yee Moh Chai.

Yee lost the Api-Api seat to Liew in 2013 while Pang, a former Merotai assemblyman, has joined PCS, which is led by former foreign minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman.

Once a Chinese-majority seat, Api-Api is now a mixed seat with Chinese and Muslim bumiputra making up about 40% each of the electorate. The rest are non-Muslim bumiputra and minorities.

Voting sentiment is likely to focus on state rights, Chinese school and socio-cultural issues apart from the local economy affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Liew, who has been hitting the campaign trail since nominations closed on Saturday, admitted that it was going to be a very challenging contest.

Observers find that the stakes have become higher for Liew due to PKR’s last-minute attempts to secure more seats.

It sparked concerns over PKR’s commitment to the incumbent Warisan Plus state government, which is seeking a second term.

While their fellow Pakatan Harapan partner DAP has decided to use the Warisan logo, PKR is sticking to its own.

On her walkabout at Gaya Street yesterday, Liew said although she was still trying to digest the number of contestants for Api-Api, she wanted to focus on campaigning.

Asked how the nine-cornered fight would affect her chances of winning, Liew said: “I think this is not the main thing for me to ponder on.”

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