PH Retains Sandakan by a Landslide

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Vivian Wong wins with a majority of 11,521 votes.

  • Vivian Wong (DAP) 16,012
  • Linda Tsen (PBS) 4,491
  • Hj Hamzah (Ind) 788
  • Chia Siew Young (Ind) 178
  • Saiman Samat (Ind) 126

The DAP won the Sandakan by-election today with a bigger majority than in 2013 when Vivian’s father Stephen Wong was elected with a majority of 10,000 votes. The victory was hailed by DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang as a turnaround in Pakatan Harapan’s political fortunes after three successive by-election defeats in the Peninsula to Barisan Nasional.

Lu Wei Hong/Malaysiakini

Kit Siang said Vivian had made history. The result was a “knockout blow” to the Malu Apa Bossku campaign of former prime minister Najib Razak, he said

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng declared the victory to be the perfect birthday gift for the Pakatan Harapan on its first anniversary in power.

He thanked the voters, and Parti Warisan Sabah president Shafie Apdal, who is chief minister. “Shafie really showed his influence in this election,” said Guan Eng.

“The fact that he could mobilise all the voters to vote for DAP, showed the solidarity of the Sabah government with the federal government led by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.”

Sabah chief minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal says the majority win for DAP candidate Vivian would have been higher if the turnout was better than 54.4%.

On behalf of the Parti Warisan Sabah-led government, he congratulated Wong on her resounding win in the Sandakan by-election.

“Had the voter turnout been higher, I am confident her majority would have been even greater,” he said.”I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the voters who cast their vote of confidence in Vivian,” Shafie said.

He said the win proved that Sandakan voters have once again shown their undivided support for the Warisan-led government.

“This victory is a victory of the people as well as an endorsement of the Warisan-led government,” he said.

The Warisan president said the win was also a very clear indication that Umno no longer had any effect on Muslim voters who came out very strongly in support of the DAP candidate.

“I expect Vivian to continue her father’s legacy. The late Stephen Wong was a dedicated MP, and I am confident Vivian will be able to follow in his footsteps,” Shafie said.

He added that the government would continue to deliver on its promises.

He said Sandakan would definitely see better days ahead, especially with the work on the airport extension project that was expected to start any day now, as well as the decision to turn POIC Sawit into a furniture hub.

“This will augur well for tourism and could create thousands of job opportunities,” he said.

Shafie vowed to guide Wong in her responsibilities as a young politician.

“I will be back to ensure that development projects take off in order to revive the economy of this once timber-rich town,” he said.

“Once again, I thank the voters as well as all leaders and members of Parti Warisan Sabah, DAP, PKR, Upko and Amanah who campaigned hard to ensure that Sandakan remains in DAP hands,” he said.

Vivian said she was excited by her victory, her first foray into politics, and was thankful for the people’s support, acknowledging that these were her father’s supporters also.