It’s official: DAP fields late MP’s daughter for Sandakan by election

Vivian Wong, the youngest of four of the late Sandakan MP Datuk Stephen Wong’s children, was named as the DAP candidate for the seat in the upcoming by election. — Picture courtesy of DAP
Vivian Wong, the youngest of four of the late Sandakan MP Datuk Stephen Wong’s children, was named as the DAP candidate for the seat in the upcoming by election. — Picture courtesy of DAP

KOTA KINABALU, April 25 — The youngest daughter of the late Sandakan MP Datuk Stephen Wong Tien Fatt will be gunning to replace her father as the MP in his constituency after his death last month.

Thirty-year-old Vivian Wong Shir Yee from DAP was chosen to contest the urban seat on Sabah’s east coast in the May 11 polls ahead of nomination day this Saturday.

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal announced her as the candidate during a townhall session programme today with Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.

The public relations graduate aspired to follow her father’s political footsteps, and has shadowed him on his campaign trails since 2012.

The Murdoch University graduate grew up in Sandakan but spent time in Australia and Kuala Lumpur for her studies and early working life.

She later took on several jobs including one as a bank officer in Kuala Lumpur and a teacher in an international Korean school in Cyberjaya before joining her father in the Health and Public Wellbeing Ministry.

Wong is expected to be in a multi-cornered fight against a Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) candidate, who has not been named yet, and several independent candidates.

PBS will be announcing its candidate tomorrow, and speculation is that former Batu Sapi MP Datuk Linda Tsen might be the candidate of choice, as she is a familiar face to the locals.

Tsen herself was pushed into the political arena in 2010 to contest the seat after her husband Datuk Edmond Chong died in a motorcycle accident. She held the seat for two terms before she was defeated by Parti Warisan Sabah’s Datuk Liew Vui Keong last year.

Another possibility is PBS Elopura division chief Kong Nyuk Thou, who is also a former aide to Tsen.

PBS has remained tight-lipped about its candidate, saying it will reveal the name tomorrow in Sandakan.