KOTA KINABALU, Sept 13 — The 16th Sabah state election campaign, which entered its second day today, has begun to gain momentum as contesting candidates were seen to be participating in various programmes and activities to win the hearts and attention of the voters.
Bernama checks found that some candidates even went the extra mile including taking a boat ride to visit a general market, a food court, a futsal area, community hall and other public places to campaign for votes.
The Warisan Plus candidate cum incumbent for Kepayan seat, Jannie Lasimbang, for one, was seen attending a cultural event at Dewan Kampung Nagasiba, Penampang, about 10km from here, to meet with the villagers.
At the event, the Sabah Assistant Minister for Law and Native Affairs also showcased her talent in Magagong (gong beating), before distributing pamphlets on her biodata and achievement after winning the seat in the 14th General Election.
Meanwhile, Barisan Nasional’s (BN) candidate for Tanjung Aru seat, Mohd Reduan Aklee, took a boat ride to Pulau Gaya to meet with the people and listen to their problems, especially concerning their needs for a more comfortable housing and clean water supply.
As a new face, Mohd Reduan was accompanied by Umno Youth chief Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki.
Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) candidate for Kapayan seat Datuk Dr Erwin Bosi, on the other hand, was spotted visiting the business community in Donggongon, while making optimal use of the social media to learn about the current development in the state constituency, which he once represented after winning the seat in the 13th General Election.
The normal environment in Gaya Street Sunday Market located in the heart of the city here had also turned livelier today as several contesting candidates were seen flocking the area to campaign for votes.
Among them were Dr Chang Kee Ying from BN, Datuk Christina Liew (PKR), Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat (LDP) and Tan Lee Fatt (DAP).
Apart from mingling with members of the public and traders at the famous market, which operates only from 6am till noon on Sunday, the candidates also distributed pamphlets on their parties’ messages and what they could offer the voters.
Bernama checks also found several party supporters putting up party flags and posters of their candidates around the Kapayan, Moyog, Likas and Luyang constituencies to enliven the campaign, while the Election Commission (EC) staff monitoring the campaign and Covid-19 standard operating procedure (SOP) compliance in Tanjung Aru.
Meanwhile, political analyst from Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Dr Syahruddin Awang Ahmad told Bernama that the campaign, which began right after the nomination process yesterday, also demanded the candidates to give assurance to the people and solutions to their problems.
“Also necessary is the advice they should give to their voters in facing the threats of Covid-19 and the efforts to help alleviate the socio-economic burden of the people in their constituencies,” he said.
The state election is seeing a total of 447 candidates from 16 parties including the independents vying for 73 seats, including 13 new seats.
The Election Commission set September 26 for polling and September 22 for early voting.
A total of 1.12 voters will cast the votes for this election, which was called following the dissolution of the state assembly on July 30, a day after former chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman claimed to have the majority to take over the government led by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal. — Bernama