Who says DAP can’t fight for Sabah’s rights, asks Vivian

DAP’s Sandakan by-election candidate Vivian Wong (right) with federal minister Yeo Bee Yin collecting rubbish at Pulau Berhala today.

KOTA KINABALU: DAP’s candidate for the Sandakan by-election, Vivian Wong, today rubbished claims by the opposition that her party cannot be relied on to safeguard state rights.

Responding to opposition leader Jeffrey Kitingan, she said feedback from the ground suggested otherwise.

“There are still many plans for Sandakan that have yet to be realised, so we appeal to the people to pick someone who can manage and deliver on the promises of my late father,” she said, referring to Stephen Wong whose death last month triggered the by-election, the eighth since the May 9 polls last year.

“I do not agree with the comments,” she added.

“We have received response from the public and they say DAP is diligent in serving the people,” she told reporters at Pulau Berhala where she is campaigning today.

Jeffrey had yesterday urged voters in Sandakan to reclaim the seat which he said rightfully belongs to a local-based party, ahead of the by-election there on May 11.

The Keningau MP also said the past 11 months had shown that peninsula-based parties in Sabah, including DAP, cannot be relied on to safeguard state rights.

Pulau Berhala, about 30 minutes’ boatride from Sandakan, has some 3,400 residents who are mostly fishermen and farmers.

However, Vivian said voters in Sandakan want a candidate who can serve the people, and would not vote just for the sake of supporting an opposition party.

When asked about statelessness in Sabah, she said there was no win-win solution to the issue despite countless discussions and debates, including by her father in the Dewan Rakyat.

“There’s no definite answer for now,” she said. “But my focus is the children. First, I will try my best as the elected representative to push for the children to get an education.

“Many of them can’t get proper education because they have no documents.”

Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin who was there with Vivian, said the problems faced by the people in Sandakan, or anywhere in Malaysia for that matter, cannot be resolved by the elected representative alone.

“If it involves state or national policies, then discussions will need to take place with other elected representatives.

“But I’m confident Vivian can bring the Sandakan voice to the discussion to achieve a satisfactory solution for all,” she said.