PETALING JAYA: SUPP president Sim Kui Hian will contest the Stampin parliamentary seat in Sarawak for Barisan Nasional (BN) in what is expected to be a close battle with Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen.
Sim’s candidacy was confirmed through BN’s candidate list today.
In the 2013 general election, DAP’s Julian Tan defeated SUPP’s Yong Khoon Seng with a majority of 18,670 votes.
But this time around SUPP is expected to perform better, buoyed by the legacy of former Sarawak chief minister Adenan Satem, cooperation with its splinter UPP and a return of some Chinese support.
Hanifah Taib, the daughter of former chief minister Taib Mahmud, will be fielded in the Mukah parliamentary seat.
Hanifah’s name was first raised as a potential PBB candidate for Mukah last June, but there was some resistance due to the number of suitors including many qualified locals.
Mukah is in the Melanau bastion of PBB. A scramble for the seat ensued after long-time MP Leo Michael Toyad’s announcement two years ago that he was retiring from politics.
Sarawak BN will also be fielding SUPP secretary-general Sebastian Ting in Miri, one of the three urban seats it is trying to wrest from the opposition.
Analysts believe that Ting stands a good chance of winning the seat due to his popularity.
In the 2013 general election, PKR’s Dr Michael Teo won the seat in a three-way contest against Ting and STAR’s Chong Kon Fatt with a 1,992-vote majority.
Teo is set to defend the seat, despite claims from a DAP assemblyman that Miri voters are ready for a change.
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