Bigger Majority For BN In Likas
(21 July 2001)

KOTA KINABALU, July 21 (Bernama) -- Voters in Likas on Saturday demonstrated strong support for the Barisan Nasional government when they returned BN candidate Datuk Yong Teck Lee with a bigger majority in the by-election for the seat.

Yong, who is also Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president, garnered 9,758 votes to beat three other challengers with a 7,541 majority.

Dr Chong Eng Leong of Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) polled 2,217 votes and Parti Keadilan Nasional's Christina Liew received 1,724 votes while independent candidate Joshua Kong managed a mere 50 votes and lost his deposit.

Yong's victory was all the more significant as he achieved the bigger majority despite a lower voter turnout of 52.95 per cent as against 68.25 per cent in the 1999 state election.

In the 1999 polls, Yong secured 9,110 votes, beating five others with a 4,962 majority.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who was present at the vote tallying centre in Dewan Maksak here, said the result showed increased support for BN.

"I am happy with the BN election machinery which has been so effective that it brought a big win for the BN candidate," he said.

Yong described his victory as a sign that the people wished to continue to be with the BN and clearly rejected the political culture of the opposition parties.
Polling at the 10 centres started at 7.30am and closed at 5pm.

The Likas constituency has 26,196 registered voters comprising 60 per cent Muslim bumiputeras, 28 per cent Chinese, 11 per cent non-Muslim bumiputeras and one per cent others.

The by-election was called for after the Election Court invalidated the 1999 results in the constituency on grounds that there were phantom and non-citizen voters in the electoral roll.

Yong, 43, who is also the member of parliament for Gaya which covers Likas, has been the Likas assemblyman for 16 years.

The former Sabah Chief Minister retained the Likas seat in 1999, beating five candidates including PBS's Chong and another former Chief Minister Datuk Harris Salleh, who was then the Bersekutu president.

Chong and Harris filed separate election petitions alleging irregularities in the 1999 polling in the area.

Justice Datuk Muhammad Kamil Awang, who heard the petitions, declared on June 8 that the 1999 results were null and void. -- BERNAMA

Datuk Yong Teck Lee
Member of Parliament for P150 Gaya / State Assemblyman for N13 Likas






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