BN In Better Position To Win Batu Sapi
SANDAKAN, Oct 30 – After the first half or leg of the 10 days campaigning period, Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Datin Linda Tsen, the widow of the late Datuk Edmund Chong Ket Wah, appears to be in a better position to win the Batu Sapi Parlimentary by-election on November 4.
Although the ground reality is not clear for her to take absolute comfort, political pundits here believe split opposition votes between Datuk Yong Teck Lee of Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)’s Ansari Abdullah will be to her advantage in this by election.
The Batu Sapi parliamentary seat fell vacant following the death of Tsen’s husband, the incumbent and two-term member of Parliment following an accident on Oct 9.
The Batu Sapi parlimentary seat consist of two state seats – Karamunting and Sekong. Most political pundits opined that the BN candidate held the edge especially with Bumiputera Muslim voters over PKR and SAPP particularly in Sekong, a stronghold of Umno, and is involved in a neck-to-neck contest for the more than 9,000 Chinese votes in the area, notably in Karamunting.
However, they believed, with Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman being the director of operations for this by election and the presence of Deputy Prime Minister Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin campaigning for BN, the Chinese support in Batu Sapi might probably tilt in favour of the ruling coalition.
Citing the results of the 2008 State election for the Inanam constituency, these political pundits said that the BN candidate from PBS won the seat simply because of the split opposition votes and it would not be surprising this happened again in Batu Sapi.
“If we look at the number of votes garnered by PBS of slightly more than 5,000 and the combined votes for opposition – DAP and PKR of more than 7,000 in Inanam in the last state election, it showed that the split votes gave an advantage to the BN.
“This time in Batu Sapi, the BN candidate is also facing two opposition parties — SAPP and PKR. On paper, Linda Tsen appears to be a in better position to retain the Batu Sapi Parlimentary seat for BN but Sabah politics is always fluid and anything can happen,” they said .
“Linda Tsen is qualified and she has been in the party politics for a long time, with her late husband. I have no doubt she can handle the situation well. This is also a recognition of women, and reflects well on the image of BN.
“All this while, the women wanted better representation in Parliament, and this is the time that women voters can rally behind Linda and help her to a resounding victory,” said Liew.