By Chris Maskilone
SANDAKAN: DAP’s victory in the May 11 Sandakan by-election is a victory of the people as well as an endorsement of the Warisan-led government.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said the win was also a clear indication that Umno has lost its grasp on the Muslim voters here.
The Muslim voters mostly in the two polling districts of Kampung Sim-Sim and Pulau Berhala came out strongly to support DAP’s candidate yesterday.
Congratulating Vivian Wong Shir Yee for the resounding victory, Shafie who is also president of Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) believed her majority could have been greater had the voters turnout been higher.
Only 54.44 per cent of the electorates turned up to cast their votes in the Sandakan by-election that was held yesterday following the demise of incumbent MP Datuk Stephen Wong Tien Fatt.
Vivian polled more than 50 per cent or 16,012 votes from the total turnout to win with a majority of 11,521 votes.
Her nearest opponent was Datuk Linda Tsen Thau Lin of PBS who garnered 4,491 votes while three independent candidates registered three digit results.
Hamzah Abdullah got 788 votes while Chia Siew Yung 178 and Sulaiman Abdul Samat only managing 126 votes.
“I expect Vivian to continue her father’s legacy. The late Stephen Wong was a dedicated Member of Parliament and I am confident Vivian will be able to follow in his footsteps.
“We will continue to deliver our promises. Sandakan will definitely see better days ahead especially with the works on the airport extension project to start any day now, as well as the decision to turn POIC Sawit into a furniture hub.
“This will augurs well for tourism and thousands of job opportunities,” he said.
Shafie assured that he will be on hand to guide Vivian as she undertakes her responsibilities as a young politician.
He also gave the Sandakanites an assurance that he would return here as often as he can to ensure development projects take off in order to revive the economy of this once timber-rich town.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the voters who cast their vote of confidence on Vivian. Sandakan voters have once again shown their undivided support for the Warisan-led government,” he said.
He also extended gratitude to leaders and members of Parti Warisan Sabah, DAP, PKR, Upko and Amanah who campaigned hard to ensure that Sandakan remain in DAP hands.-SabahNewsToday