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Independent candidate Hamzah Abdullah may not be eligible to vote in the Sandakan by-election, but that did not stop him from accompanying his three adult children to cast their vote at a polling centre at Yu Yuan Secondary School here, today. Pic by NSTP/AVILA GERALDINE

SANDAKAN: Independent candidate Hamzah Abdullah may not be eligible to vote in the Sandakan by-election, but that did not stop him from accompanying his three adult children to cast their vote at a polling centre at Yu Yuan Secondary School here, today.

Arriving at the school at 8.30am, the former state Parti Amanah Negara chairman was by his children’s side as he followed them around to their voting channel. Hamzah also helped to look after his three-year-old grandson.

Siti Masitah Hamzah, 35, expressed excitement about the polling day and hoped her father could win the by-election.

“I want to support my father because he has been involved with the people of Sandakan for 30 years. I hope my father will win but whatever the outcome, I hope the newly-elected member of parliament will do his or her job.

“Like everyone else, I look forward to the much-awaited result,” she told New Straits Times when met at the school compound.

Hamzah’s 36-year-old son Mohd Razeef said he hoped the new member of parliament would represent the voice of the Sandakan community to solve problems faced by its constituents.

“The elected representative should avoid playing with racial and religious sentiments. He or she must focus on reviving the economy in the constituency and help to create job opportunities,” said the legal practitioner.

During his visit to the polling centre, Hamzah spent time observing the voting process.

Apart from Hamzah, Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) candidate and former Batu Sapi member of parliament Datuk Linda Tsen Thau Lin is also not voting in the by-election. The two candidates are registered under the Batu Sapi constituency.

Meanwhile, DAP candidate Vivian Wong Shir Yee was seen accompanying her mother Datin Chong Mee Fook to cast her ballot at the same polling centre.

Wong also made her rounds to observe the election process at Yu Yuan Secondary School. She had earlier cast her vote at the SK Muhibah polling centre.

The Sandakan parliamentary seat fell vacant following the death of Wong’s father Datuk Stephen Wong, on March 28.

In the 14th general election, he defended his seat with a 10,098-vote majority against Barisan Nasional candidate Datuk Lim Ming Hoo.

This is the eighth by-election since GE14 on May 9 last year, with the first held at Sungai Kandis on Aug 4, Balakong and Seri Setia (Sept 8), Port Dickson (Oct 13), Cameron Highlands (Jan 26), Semenyih (March 2) and Rantau (April 13).

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