GE14: Straight fight in Bandar Kuching between SUPP and DAP

From front, left: Kho and Dr Yii shake hands at the nomination centre for Bandar Kuching.

KUCHING, April 28: Bandar Kuching parliamentary constituency will see a straight fight between two political debutantes.

Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) women’s chief Kho Teck Wan will contest against Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen of Democratic Action Party (DAP).

It will be a tough road ahead for Kho to wrest Bandar Kuching, a DAP stronghold since 2004, though its three-term MP Chong Chieng Jen is contesting in Stampin parliamentary constituency for the 14th general election (GE14).

Chong, who is also Sarawak DAP chairman decided to pave way for political newcomer Dr Yii, as the party promotes new leadership.

Both candidates arrived early at Dewan Masyarakat MBKS, with Kho accompanied by 500 SUPP supporters. Dr Yii, accompanied by a some 200-strong DAP contingent, was the first to enter the nomination centre.

According to returning officer Tay Guan Huat, Dr Yii filed his nomination papers at 9.03am, followed by Kho two minutes later.

Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong acted as proposer for the DAP candidate, with Alexander Goh Leng Kung the seconder. SUPP has brought Tan Jit Kee and Lau Thin Kin as the respective proposer and seconder for Kho.

Kho, when met by reporters at the nomination centre, was calm and relaxed about the herculean task ahead.

“The fight is against us but ‘lawan tetap lawan’. I must give a strong spirit that whatever we are fighting for is for a stronger Sarawak. After 15 years in DAP, I hope that Kuching people wil give us a chance. We can make Kuching better.

“Let us rally behind our chief minister for a better Sarawak, let us be an example and fight for the betterment of the people,” she said.

Kho (centre) accompanied by BN and SUPP supporters as they converged on the nomination centre for Bandar Kuching.

On her political debut, Kho said she is taking it easy and would focus on winning the hearts of the people. She added that the pressure would be on the opposition, being the defending party.

“Bandar Kuching is a stronghold for DAP. We will fight till the end. If we can reduce the majority, we will do it but if we can win, let’s do it!” she continued.

Dr Yii meanwhile, said the party must work hard and not be complacent in defending Bandar Kuching.

“There is no such thing as a safe seat because every person’s needs and interest is different. We need to work hard to build the people’s trust, confidence and understand their issues better so that I can effectively represent them in Parliament and other platforms,” he said.

Dr Yi (centre) accompanied by DAP and PH supporters as they converged on the nomination centre for Bandar Kuching. At right is Yong.

Dr Yii said replacing Chong is definitely big shoes to fill, but added that he had received plenty of advice from the incumbent.

“Being a political greenhorn, I’m nervous but equally excited. Hopefully I am given the mandate and trust from the people to carry their voice in Parliament and to make sure that interest of the state and every Sarawakian is taken care of,” he continued.

Bandar Kuching is a Chinese-majority urban seat with 81,856 voters. Chinese voters made up 89 per cent of the constituents. — DayakDaily