Multi-cornered fights in Sabah boon to BN
Multi-cornered contests throughout Sabah in Election 2013 will benefit the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) in areas with a weak opposition,,
Nevertheless multi-cornered fights for the May 5 general elections would not dent the opposition’s chances of victory in federal seats like Keningau or Beaufort, where voters choose based on personalities, rather than political parties.
Multi-cornered contests will reduce the opposition’s chances of winning a max number of seats..
In areas where the opposition is not strong, multi-cornered contests may benefit BN greatly, but in areas where personality factor counts more than party factor, multi-cornered contests don’t affect the opposition’s chances that much..
But we predicted that the opposition would win between five and six federal seats in the Borneo state – Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Beaufort, Pensiangan and Ranau – compared to the one seat in Election 2008, where the DAP won Kota Kinabalu.
The pro-opposition sentiment among the Chinese was running high in Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan, while PKR candidates Richard Sakian Gunting and Jonathan Yasin were popular in Pensiangan and Ranau respectively.
Multi-cornered fights have sprung up in Sabah between BN, opposition parties from Pakatan Rakyat (PR), local opposition parties SAPP and STAR, and numerous independent candidates on Nomination Day today.
The Keningau constituency will see the second battle between heavyweights incumbent PBS’ Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan (picture) and Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, who is his brother and the Sabah STAR chairman. PKR’s Stephen Sandor has also thrown his hat into the ring, making it a three-way contest.
STAR and SAPP are campaigning on restoring Sabah’s autonomy, while PR is urging voters to choose between it and BN in the opposition pact’s quest to win federal power in the May 5 polls.
Another three-cornered fight will take place in the Beaufort federal constituency between incumbent Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin, who defected from Umno to form the PKR-friendly PPS, STAR’s Guan Dee Koh Hoi and Umno’s Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun.
Lajim won Beaufort in Election 2008 with an overwhelming 10,914-vote majority.
The multi-cornered fights between opposition parties also would give BN an edge, but said that independents would not create much impact, due to a lack of grassroots support.
Kota Kinabalu will see a three-cornered contest between Sabah DAP chief Jimmy Wong, PBS’ Chin Tek Ming and STAR’s Liew Hock Leong.
Sandakan, however, will see a straight fight between incumbent Datuk V.K. Liew from the LDP and DAP’s Wong Tien Fatt.
A four-cornered contest will take place in Tawau, where incumbent Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui from SAPP will defend her seat against Datuk Mary Yap from PBS, PKR’s Datuk Kong Hong Ming and independent Ahmad Awang.
The incumbent Datuk Wilfred Bumburing, who defected from UPKO and formed the PKR-friendly APS, was popular in the Tuaran federal seat, compared to UPKO’s Datuk Wilfred Tangau, STAR’s Jasmin Dulin and independent Erveana Ansari Ali in the four-cornered fight.