KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Yong Teck Lee was today named the sole parliamentary candidate in the party’s line-up of 12 candidates for the May 9 election.
Yong, a former chief minister, will contest the Kota Kinabalu seat.
In total, the party will contest in five seats using its symbol. Four other party members will stand under the Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) banner and three others on the Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah (PHRS) ticket.
All three parties, along with Parti Perpaduan Rakyat Sabah, are components of the Gabungan Sabah alliance.
Other than Yong, SAPP will field candidates using its symbol in four of its traditional seats: Likas, Api-Api, Luyang and Inanam.
Among the candidates is a “Sabahan of West Malaysian origin”, Gee Tien Soong, 45, who was named the SAPP candidate for Luyang.
The Johor-born entrepreneur, who has lived in Sabah for 35 years, is a founding member of SAPP and the elder brother of renowned Sabah Hakka artiste Gee Tian Long.
The other candidates include business executive John Stephen Dionysius (Inanam) and professional photographer and youth activist Lim Kat Chung (Api-Api).
The party’s secretary-general and local businessman Richard Yong Wee Kong will stand in Likas.
SAPP deputy president Melanie Chia said the party’s candidates were chosen after a stringent vetting process.
“Our criteria were that they be resilient in financial standing to ensure they are invulnerable to any type of corruption, be knowledgeable and feel strongly about our struggle for Sabah rights,” she said.
One of the three SAPP members who will contest under the PHRS symbol is Noraiza Mohammad Noor, the daughter of Gabungan Sabah chairman Mohd Noor Mansor.
Chia said Noraiza joined SAPP in 2014 and was dedicated to the party’s struggle.
“She chose to join SAPP at one of our lowest points after the 2013 polls. This shows her dedication to our struggle for Sabah rights,” she said.
Chia, the former Luyang assemblyman, said she opted to stay out of the coming election to become SAPP’s director of operations.
“We need a commander-in-chief for this election to head our campaign team,” she said.
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