KUCHING, Dec 6 — The Election Commission (EC) confirmed a four-cornered fight for the Sarawak urban constituency of Batu Kawah after nominations closed at 10am today.

The four candidates who will face off on December 18 are Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) president Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, DAP’s Dr Kelvin Yii, Fong Pau Teck from Sarawak People’s Aspiration Party (Aspirasi), and Chai Kueh Khun from Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK).

But all eyes are on the two doctors who many believe are the main contenders in this state seat, with cardiologist Dr Sim seeking to defend it against Dr Yii who is also Bandar Kuching MP.

Dr Sim was the first to arrive at the Padawan Municipal Council here at 7.35am, well ahead of the nomination centre opening time of 9am.

Approximately an hour after that, Dr Yii arrived, followed by Chai from PBK at 8.45am and Aspirasi’s Fong was last.

Despite the rainy morning weather, a small group gathered outside the gates to show support for their respective candidates.

With Covid-19 health protocols in place though, the crowd numbered fewer than the EC officials working inside the centre.

Right after the confirmation by the EC, Dr Sim addressed reporters here and said the next 12 days are vital as he hoped that it will be a fair and clean campaign.

“In this day and age, I’m very sad that there’s always a lot of fake news and abuse of social media. And that is not our culture,” he told reporters just outside of the municipal council office.

Dr Yii told reporters that he was contesting in Batu Kawah to empower Sarawakians on their developmental rights.

“The issue that I will bring forward is on how we can empower the residents in Batu Kawah. We want a targeted development that will bring benefits straight to the people here.

“We don’t want to see pretty buildings or infrastructure but the people did not get any direct benefits,” he said.

Yesterday, the EC had issued its own list of dos-and-don’ts for candidates for the entire duration of the official campaigning period starting today until December 17.

Polling day is December 18.