KOTA KINABALU: Tawau MP Datuk Christina Liew is marshalling support from fellow Pakatan Harapan parties to be retained for the Sabah east coast seat after losing the state PKR chairmanship.
The latest to throw its support behind the former Sabah deputy chief minister is Parti Amanah Negara's (Amanah) Tawau division, which expressed its hope that she would be nominated to defend the seat she won in 2018.
Amanah had initially wanted to contest the seat but its coordinating chairman Abas KBS @ Kaing noted it decided to back the incumbent instead.
“Now Pakatan is standing solidly behind the incumbent MP. We in Pakatan fully support her candidacy for the Tawau seat,” he told reporters at the Community Centre in Tawau on Wednesday (Sept 21).
“If she wins, she will be able to (achieve) what she has planned for the constituency,” he added.
One pending development project in the district is a proposed pangolin sanctuary at the Tawau Hills Park as a new tourist attraction.
Abas said Amanah will help to campaign in the predominantly bumiputra areas in the Apas and Balung state constituencies to ensure victory in Tawau.
The PKR national leadership decided to oust Liew as Sabah PKR chief early last month, naming Keningau division chief Datuk Sangkar Rasam as her successor.
She was, however, retained as Sabah Pakatan chairman.
Besides Amanah, DAP also pledged its full support for her to defend Tawau in the 15th General Election (GE15).
This followed a meeting she had with a three-member delegation from DAP, led by its deputy secretary-general Liew Chin Tong at the Tawau parliamentary people's service centre on Sunday (Sept 18).
Speaking to the media after the meeting, Chin Tong said he hoped there would be close cooperation between DAP and PKR so that they could secure victory in Tawau and other areas.
“We (DAP) want to support you (Christina) to win so that Pakatan can win. We will go all out in Sri Tanjong (a state constituency under Tawau) to ensure PKR's electoral success,” he said.
Chin Tong also agreed with Kota Kinabalu MP Chan Foong Hin that Sabah Pakatan should win at least 10 parliamentary seats in the state, saying this will contribute to the total number of seats the coalition can win nationwide.
Chan said it was vital to have trust and a good relationship among the Sabah Pakatan component parties.
“There should not be any feeling of suspicion among ourselves. We are moving towards only one direction and that is to ensure that not a single incumbent Pakatan seat is lost in GE15.
“We are here to complement Christina's selection machinery in Tawau,” he said.
Sabah DAP election director Phoong Jin Zhe said he stressed the importance of creating a strong linkage with Tawau PKR during his discussion with his own party's Tawau grassroots leaders.
“Winning this parliamentary seat is of paramount importance. If we fail to win, it means we will fail to form the next government,” he said.