Six new faces including a “Sabahan of West Malaysian origin” are among the 12 candidates the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) is fielding as part of the Gabungan Sabah local opposition pact.
Johor-born entrepreneur Gee Tien Siong, 45, who has been living in Sabah for 35 years was named the GS candidate for Luyang.
Gee, a founding member of SAPP, is also the elder brother of renowned Sabah Hakka artiste Gee Tian Long.
Meanwhile, Datuk Richard Yong We Kong shall be contesting for the Likas State seat.
SAPP deputy president Melanie Chia announced the SAPP candidates here on Wednesday.
SAPP president Datuk Yong Teck Lee who was named as the party’s sole Parliamentary constituency candidate and will be contesting the Kota Kinabalu seat.
This is the first time Yong, a former Chief Minister, is contesting in Kota Kinabalu.
The other new faces in the SAPP candidate line up include Noraiza bte Haji Mohammad Noor, a daughter of former state minister Datuk Mohammad Noor Mansoor. The 47-year-old will be contesting the Tanjung Aru seat.
Others were business executive John Stephen Dionysius, 46, who will be contesting the Inanam state seat while professional photographer and youth activist Lim Kat Chung was named the GS choice for Api Api.
Businessman and SAPP founding member Wong Yu Chin, 53, was named GS choice for the Lahad Datu state seat while entrepreneur Pang Thou Chung was named the GS candidate for Sri Tanjung.
Other GS candidates from SAPP were former Penampang District Council deputy chairman Chong Pit Fah who was the GS choice for Kapayan.
Former People Development Leader Jimmy Jawatah, 55, was named the GS candidate for Melalap while agriculturist Aloysius Danim Siap, 64, would be fielded in Moyog.
Businessman Japiril Suhaimin who once served as the Malaysian Human Rights Commission Sabah secretary would be contesting the Kundasang seat.
Melanie said the party’s candidates were chosen after a stringent vetting process.
“Our criteria in choosing them was that they are imbued with with a resilient culture. They had to be resilient in many ways including financial standing,” she said.
“This is to ensure they were invulnerable to any type of corruption and were knowledgeable and felt strongly about our struggle for Sabah rights,” Melanie said.
She noted that Noraiza was dedicated to the party’s struggle and joined SAPP in 2014.
“She chose to join SAPP at one of our lowest points after the 2013 polls and this reflects her dedication to our struggle for Sabah rights,” Melanie added.
The former Luyang State Assemblyman said she opted to stay out of this election to become SAPP’s director of operations for this election.
“We need a commander in chief for this election to head our campaign team who will be working and will be on lookout for any kind wrongdoing by our opponents such propagating lies and smear tactics,” she said. (25 April 2018 - Announcement of SAPP Candidates)