MIRI: For more than three decades, the Miri parliamentary seat was held by two SUPP presidents: Dr George Chan and Peter Chin.
The famous oil town was a long-time SUPP bastion and a prized seat. When it fell to the opposition in the 2013 general election, it was a rude shock for SUPP.
PKR’s Dr Michael Teo defeated SUPP secretary-general Sebastian Ting, making Miri PKR’s sole parliamentary seat in Sarawak.
Now, SUPP is going all out to get it back.
The party is said to be more confident of victory on May 9, buoyed by the recent public spat between PKR and DAP over the choice of candidate.
A Miri SUPP branch source told FMT that the people had been complaining about the incumbent MP’s “lacklustre performance”, describing Teo as a “weak” candidate.
“Teo’s easy way out to appease his constituents was to donate money to those seeking his help.
“We need an MP to speak up in Parliament on the problems faced by the city and its populace, too,” he said.
So far, four names have been raised as potential candidates from SUPP.
They are Senadin assemblyman Lee Kim Shin, Piasau assemblyman Sebastian Ting, Miri mayor Adam Yii and a fresh face, Erick Chin.
Lee has ruled himself out, saying he wants to continue playing his role at the state level as he is also an assistant minister.
Chin is considered a risky choice as the election is too important for Barisan Nasional to gamble on a fresh face.
That leaves Yii and Ting, both of whom are popular figures in Miri and considered the “pillars” of SUPP in the resort city.
“It could either be Sebastian (Ting) or Adam (Yii),” the branch leader said.
“Either one of them stands a good chance. There is nothing much to differentiate between the two.
“They are both hard-working politicians who meet the people regularly and attend to their issues.”
However, Yii is the more likely choice given that Ting is already a state representative.
He is assemblyman for Piasau, one of the three state seats within the Miri parliamentary constituency.
However, Sarawak PKR vice-chairman See Chee How was optimistic that Teo would be able to defend Miri.
“Don’t brush our candidate off. There is more to him than what people think. Teo is a good man and is well liked by his constituents.”
Miri is one of the most populated constituencies in Sarawak with 80,386 registered voters.
Teo won the seat with a majority of 1,992 votes in 2013.
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