Next Sarawak Chinese DCM: Dr. Sim or Soon Koh?

SARAWAK POLLS: A victory in Batu Kawah for the BN-SUPP candidate Dr Sim Kui Hian would certainly guarantee the doctor turned politician a place in the state cabinet.

It could even be the post of deputy chief minister which was taken away from SUPP following its worst electoral defeat in the last election.

Chief Minister and state BN chairman Adenan Satem has given this promise. The promise is not only aimed at wooing Chinese voters in Batu Kawah, it also creates interest among voters and the general public elsewhere.

For the past five years, no Chinese was appointed as deputy chief minister. The last deputy chief minister from SUPP was Dr George Chan.

Adenan’s choice of Sim for Batu Kawah indicates his high degree of confidence in him to win the seat based on the fact that DAP incumbent Christina Chiew had the smallest majority of the four seats held by DAP in Kuching.

Christina defeated Tan Joo Pui of SUPP by 543 votes in the 2011 state election.

Moreover, Christina’s position in Batu Kawah appeared to have been weakened by the transfer of a substantial number of voters to the newly created Batu Kitang constituency.

DAP candidates for Padungan, Wong King Wei, and for Pending, Violet Yong, are perhaps too “strong” for Sim as the duo won their respective seats with majorities of more than 7,500 votes.

Sim was defeated by Violet by 7,595 votes in Pending in 2011.

Could the above factors have prompted SUPP and Adenan to choose Batu Kawah for Sim?

But those reasons could be counter-productive as the Opposition has lashed out at Sim, accusing him of being a “coward” and a “weak” leader.

Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen said that if he could not defend his previous seat, it was unlikely he could defend Sarawak’s rights and interests.

Yes, if he is a strong leader, he could have offered himself to contest in Kota Sentosa against Chong; or in Padungan against Wong; or for a rematch against Violet Yong in Pending.

“Don’t run away from your own constituency,” said another DAP leader.

Commenting on the same issue, DAP national adviser Lim Kit Siang said that they thought that Christina “is an easy meat” for Sim.

They thought that they could bully and intimidate Christina, Lim said, pointing out that they were greatly mistaken if they thought they could do it.

Although they may think that Christina is easy “meat”, they must realise that Liu Thian Leong who is contesting as an independent, is also an equally strong contender.

Liu’s entry is expected to split the hardcore voters of Barisan Nasional.

Batu Kawah has 16,991 voters.

Liu, who has been eyeing the seat for months, was a strong man of United People’s Party (UPP) and a former Chinese community leader. He has resigned from UPP to contest as an independent.

He had earlier told his supporters that he might not contest due to a lack of financial resources.

But on nomination day, he submitted his election papers and this raised a question whether there were some people behind his candidacy.

It is rumoured that he is being backed by some “towkays” in UPP, who want to see Sim defeated.

With Sim’s defeat, they say, it can open the way for Wong Soon Koh, the BN direct candidate for Bawang Assan, to have a chance to be appointed deputy chief minister.

Rumours are also spreading that SUPP is also allegedly supporting an independent candidate Yew Bang Keng in Bawang Assan to ensure that Wong is defeated.

Yew is a former SUPP leader who resigned to contest against Wong.

Wong in a recent statement accused SUPP of sabotaging his chances of winning the Bawang Assan seat.

With all the intrigues and the rumours going around, it is interesting to know who will be appointed as deputy chief minister after the election.

Sim or Wong? The answer is just five days away.-The Ant Daily

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