Thursday, February 21, 2008


Members of same party eyeing key Tawau seats


Not many flags have been put up around here but the election heat is felt, especially with several key areas being eyed by members of the same party. Several names were mentioned in at least three constituencies, both state and parliamentary, and many are keeping their fingers crossed until this Sunday’s nomination day. One of the most talked about seats is Merotai. Umno is hoping that the state seat, currently held by Datuk Liew Yun Fah of Liberal Democratic Party, will be returned to them in the 12th general election. Liew said he would leave his fate to the Barisan Nasional leadership, and he advised his supporters to continue their trust on the ruling Government, regardless of who is fielded in Merotai. Parti Islam Se-Malaya (PAS) is expected to field a candidate there. In Tanjung Batu, independent candidate Mokhtar Ahmad @ Utai has placed three big boards at a roundabout in the area, advertising himself as a future leader for the constituency, going against incumbent Kamil Datuk Kassim. Kalabakan Umno Wanita chief Datuk Hamisah Samat is also eyeing the seat and she is also tipped to be fielded in the Sebatik seat, which is currently held by incumbent Datuk Dr Patawari Patawe. However, words are also going around that the constituency’s People Development Leader, Kadrie Ahmad, as well as Osman are also eyeing the seat. Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) Sebatik branch chairman Mohd Baldir Arjas had said that they would support anyone fielded by the Barisan Nasional in the constituency, but stressed that it must be a new face. As for the Tawau parliamentary seat, Sabah Progressive Party vice president Datuk Chua Soon Bui, who is also the former Member of Parliament for the area, is taking over from incumbent Shim Paw Fatt. Incumbent Balung assemblyman Datuk Syed Abas Syed Ali’s seat is being eyed by Parti Keadilan Rakyat. It is learnt that the opposition party has been organising events in the constituency to lure public support. No name has been mentioned yet. Datuk Tawfiq Abu Bakar Titingan, the incumbent assemblyman for Apas, won the seat uncontested in the 2004 general election. He, however, said that it would not be an easy election this year as an opposition party member is tipped to contest in the constituency. PBS’ Samson Chin, the incumbent Sri Tanjong assemblyman, will be seeing tough challenge from Democratic Action Party (DAP) Tawau chairman Jimmy Wong. The open space issue at Sabindo is said to be among the pressing issues that would be highlighted by the opposition in the coming polis. In each of the constituencies in Tawau and Kalabakan, the opposition parties have listed their candidates to challenge the ruling coalition. However, some members of the coalition parties are also eyeing the same constituency.