Three independents contesting against DAP and Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) candidates for the Sandakan parliamentary seat.
Five candidates handed over their nomination papers at the SMJK Tiong Hua multipurpose hall, which is the nomination centre, between 9am to 10am on Saturday (April 27).
Besides DAP’s Vivian Wong Shir Yee, 30, and Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) Datuk Linda Tsen Thau Lin, 63, the independents are former Sabah PAS chairman and former Sabah Parti Amanah Negara chairman Hamzah Abdullah, businessman Chia Siew Yung, 45 and former political worker Sulaiman Abdul Samat, 36.
(From left) PBS’ Linda Tsen, Chia Siew Yung (Ind), PH’s Vivian Wong, Hamza Abdullah (Ind) and Sulaiman Abdul Samat (Ind).
The proposer for Vivian was her elder sister Larina Wong Shiao Yee, while the seconder was her other sister Benita Wong Shing yee.
Vivan is the daughter of two-term incumbent Datuk Stephen Wong Tien Fatt who died of a heart attack following a hike on March 28, triggering the by-election.
Vivian, who is the youngest of four siblings, holds a degree in Public Relations from University of Murdoch, Australia and has been involved in politics since 2012 with DAP.
She was a special assistant to her father when he was Sabah’s Health and People’s Wellbeing Minister and has been very active in social work.
In GE14, Stephen won the seat with a 10,098-vote majority.
Tsen, who is vice president of PBS, was a two-term MP for Batu Sapi but lost the seat to Datuk Liew Vui Keong in GE14.
The candidates were seen mingling together after registering their nomination and waiting for the official announcement.
Returning officer Mohamad Hamsan Awang Supain announced the names at 10.30am after the end of the nomination period.
Sabah Chief Minister and Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal was also present in support of Vivian.
Earlier, the supporters of various sides braved through the rain as they marched from their respective assembly points towards the nomination centre.
Sandakan, with about 40,000 voters, comprises 51% Chinese and 45% Muslim bumiputras, including Bajaus, Suluks and Sungai.
The rest of the electorate is made up of Kadazandusun communities and others.
At a press conference, Election Commission deputy chairman Azmi Sharom said 57 observers from 10 organisations, including government agencies and NGOs and two individuals, have been appointed to oversee the election process.