Official: DAP retains Sandakan with bigger majority

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SANDAKAN (May 11): DAP has retained the Sandakan Parliamentary seat with  its candidate Vivian Wong Shir Yee winning today’s by-election there with a bigger majority.

Wong, 30, polled 16,012 votes to defeat nearest rival Linda Tsen Thau Lin of PBS by a majority of 11,521 votes.

Tsen garnered 4,491 votes while Independent candidates Sulaiman Abdul Samat, Hamzah Abdullah and Chia Siew Yung managed only 126, 788 and 178 votes respectively and lost their deposits.

Returning Officer Mohd Hamsan Awang Supain announced the results at the vote tallying centre at Dewan Aktiviti Sekolah Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan Tiong Hua here at 9pm.

In the 14th General Election in May last year, the seat was won by the late Datuk Stephen Wong Tien Fatt, 64, who was Vivian’s father, by a majority of 10,098  votes in a straight fight against Lim Ming Hoo of LDP.

The by-election was triggered by the death of the two-term incumbent on March 28. Stephen Wong was also Sabah DAP chief and State Health and People’s Well-being Minister.

A total of 21,595 voters or 54.44 percent of the ordinary voters eligible to vote cast their ballots at 19 polling centres today.

Wong at a press conference after the announcement of the results thanked Sandakan voters for giving her the mandate to be their elected representative.

“Thanks to Sabah Chief Minister (Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal) and I am grateful for his dedication to assist me in this Sandakan Parliamentary by-election campaign as well as to several State and Federal Ministers.

“Also thanks to my family, especially my mother (Datin Florence Chong Mee Fook) who supported me as a politician and who also supported my father when he became a politician,” she said.

“First thing I’m going to do is to visit my father’s grave tomorrow and personally thank him,” she said.

The Sandakan Parliamentary constituency has two State seats, namely Tanjong Papat and Elopura, with 40,131 registered voters comprising 39,856 ordinary voters, five absentee voters as they were abroad and the rest early voters.

Of the total, 51 percent are Chinese, 45 percent Muslim Bumiputera, while the rest other races.

A total of 19,857 voters or 49.48 percent of the total number of voters are men while women voters, at 20,274 make up 50.52 percent.

The Sandakan by-election is eighth by-election after the 14th General Election (GE14) on May 9 last year, with the first one being for the Sungai Kandis State seat on Aug 4; Balakong and Seri Setia State seats (Sept 8); Port Dickson Parliamentary seat (Oct 13); Cameron Highlands Parliamentary seat (Jan 26); Semenyih State seat (March 2) and Rantau State seat on April 13.