SUPP fails to evict DAP from Bandar Kuching stronghold

Dr Yii (right) shakes hands with Kho at the vote tally centre.

KUCHING, May 10: As anticipated, Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) failed miserably in its bid to wrest the prized Bandar Kuching seat from Democratic Action Party’s (DAP) Dr Kelvin Yii who defeated its women’s wing chief Kho Teck Wan in a straight fight.

Dr Yii, 31, who took over the seat from incumbent Chong Chieng Jen (DAP) won with 48,548 votes while Kho, 42, only managed to pull in 12,575 votes, giving Yii a whopping 35,973 majority.

The state capital has highest number of voters in the state at 81,858, which also has the highest percentage of Chinese voters at 90.93 per cent.

Although both are newbies in the political arena, Dr Yii and Kho have build distinguished professional careers in their own right.

Dr Yii, who is a medical and law graduate, has always been seen as the more outgoing and friendlier of the two, with a sincere and easily approachable attitude.

Kho, who is an engineer, seems slightly stiff and sometimes needed help from her aides when questioned by members of the media.

Apart from personality, among other reasons Dr Yii won is due to the party factor, which is that he is with DAP.

For years, Bandar Kuching has always been at the centre of tussles between DAP and SUPP, and based on past election records, voters here are staunch supporters of the opposition.

This is due to public anger over corruption, the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal, being politically and financially overlooked by the federal government for years, concerns over well being and desire for more autonomy, including a greater share of natural resources revenue.

In this election, DAP has also effectively tapped into the widespread discontent over the Goods and Services Tax (GST) which was introduced two years ago.

The GST had been roundly condemned in the public eye as doing little to improve livelihood of the people, instead causing agony by increasing the cost of living.

Bandar Kuching voters have voted for the opposition in the interest of check and balance, and it is likely that they will continue to do so. — DayakDaily