It is now official. SUPP president Dr George Chan has all but confirmed that Alfred Yap Chin Loi will be the party’s candidate for the Kota Sentosa seat in next state election. Speaking at the SUPP Kota Sentosa Branch anniversary dinner last week, Dr Chan was full of praise for Yap, saying that he had worked tirelessly after losing the contest to DAP’s Chong Chieng Jen.
The interesting question is: Who will Yap face in Sentosa?
It will be a classic clash of the titans if Kota Sentosa sees a Yap-Chong re-match.
But this tiger is willing to bet that the incumbent Chong will move to fight SUPP in another constituency. After speaking to senior party leaders on both sides, I am convinced that Chong is searching for a safer seat.
Much has changed since 2006. It was then the “political tsunami” that had vanquished SUPP heavyweights and swept in many DAP unknowns.
Four years later, the conventional wisdom still predicts a greater SUPP loss at the looming state polls. But forget conventional wisdom. In the next Sentosa match, the SUPP candidate and DAP incumbent both agree on one thing: they do not like to face each other.
Chong will prefer not to fight Yap.
It is a much stronger Alfred Yap whom he had beaten by 531 votes in 2006. Whereas Yap started the campaign for the next election the next day after he lost, Chong cannot claim to have done much for the constituency. Many of Yap’s supporters are residents of the new constituency and who knows how many have registered to vote in Sentosa.
Yap will prefer not to fight Chong.
Once bitten, twice shy, they say and I think Yap is hoping that Chong will run away to a safer seat.
How now? Both candidates are afraid of each other. Interesting, isn’t it?
Given this scenario, with some intelligent guesswork plus a little bit of feline mischief, we can anticipate the following:
- Yap and Chong may be or may have already negotiated with each other quietly through a third party. The end result is Chong not standing in Sentosa. (A little bird is saying that a member of the PRS is involved?)
- Chong may exert his influence to kill two birds with one stone. Are you thinking what I am thinking? Yes, yes. Chong will find it more than delicious to push Voon Lee Shan to Kota Sentosa. Voon will, as the Chinese like to say, (and I hate to paraphrase because it sounds like bad English): “Die standing”
- As Chong surveys the possible battlefields beyond Sentosa, he will no doubt turn his eyes to Padungan and Batu Lintang. And again if you listen to the proverbial conventional wisdom, these are sure-lose seats for the SUPP.
If Chong chooses to stand in Batu Lintang, it will be sweet victory if he can beat likely candidate Sih Hua Tong. The only problem will be Voon’s supporters. They may not take too kindly to Chong if he kicks Voon to face certain death in Sentosa.
Padungan will be also on Chong’s radar if unfolding events favor him. If Chong wins the lawsuit against Padungan incumbent PKR’s Ng Kim Ho and if Ng is made a bankrupt, the DAP will lay claim to Padungan. We all know that the Chinese majority Padungan seat has always been claimed by the DAP.
Not yet convinced that Chong will run away from Sentosa?
OK. Do the following:
Read the above point 1 again and ask yourself these questions:
Why is Chong keeping silent about defending Sentosa?
Why have Chong and Yap not attack each other? Chong has been on attack mode but has not let loose on Yap even after Dr Chan has confirmed Yap will be SUPP’s preferred candidate.
Does Chong already know he will not be defending Kota Sentosa?
Stay tuned. More will be revealed. For now, digest the above. Grrr
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